State, Not Federal Government, Should Decide How to Educate Its Kids

teacherLady Bird Johnson visiting classroom

“Childrens [sic] do learn when standards are high and results are measured.” -- George W. Bush, in a speech made to schoolchildren back in 2007

We have been in an education crisis for decades. Even before Jimmy Carter enacted No Child Left Behind, our schools were failing our children. Since then, what’s been done? What improvements have we seen? We continue to test students, to increase the education budget, but are we seeing improvement? No.

There are still too many failing schools, too many classrooms that are overcrowded and lack the basic resources, and teachers that are underpaid and not vested in their students’ learning. We still have children that fall between the cracks or families that rely on a lottery system to see if their children have any chance at a future.  

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It’s not fair, it’s not right, and it’s a shame. It’s a shame that across America, parents cannot rely on public education to ensure that their children will have their basic educational needs met. It’s a shame that as recent as 2007, only 8 percent of eighth graders in our nation’s capital were proficient in math. Unless you are part of the small minority of families that can afford to send your child to a private school, your children are out of luck.   

Shame

You would think that in a country like ours, where most of our children have access to clean water, electricity, and fresh food as compared to most of the rest of the world, our children would rank much better than that of other developing countries. But instead of the U.S. being a leader in education, we fall far behind. 

What is the solution? What was proposed 32 years ago is not the solution. What we need to do is start fresh. Get rid of the Department of Education and allow each state to decide what is best for its children. We should remove the federal government’s hand from the pot and give full control back to the states. We should also get rid of teacher contracts that make it impossible to fire a teacher that is under-performing or no longer interested in the well-being of their students’ educations. 

For parents, reforming education means that we can have faith in the future of our children. Maybe then we can stop predicting crime rates with school dropout rates, or success rates with tax brackets. We will no longer have to wait for Superman to rescue our children but rely on good old fashion education. A candidate that supports this sort change will surely win more votes with moms. 

This post is part of a weekly conversation with our 5 Moms Matter 2012 political bloggers. Read the original question and find links to all their responses here: Should the Department of Education Be Abolished?


Photo via U.S. National Archives/Flickr

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