Saturday, January 28, 2023
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Thursday, October 20, 2011
The Backdoor Attempt to Rewrite No Child Left Behind
By Heritage Foundation @ 2:43 AM :: 4934 Views :: National News, Ethics

Remember when then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said of Obamacare that Congress will "have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it"? Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) is now taking that approach with his attempt to revamp education in America. And just as that strategy was a terrible idea for health care, it's the wrong move for education, as well.

The Senate today will begin the markup of Harkin's 860-page proposal to rewrite the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), now known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB). The proposal amounts to more new regulations and red tape that would be layered on to local school districts, maintaining the status quo of Washington-centric education reform. And the trouble is that the Senate hasn't even had time to parse through the proposed legislation, let alone hear from those whom it seeks to control. In an exclusive interview yesterday with The Heritage Foundation, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) explained his frustrations with the process:

The bill is 868 pages and we got it yesterday, and I talked to committee members today and said this isn't the way government should work. I thought we'd have hearings. We've had zero hearings on No Child Left Behind. I would think we'd have several significant hearings...Bring in the teachers, bring in the superintendents, bring in the principals and find out more about it. We've had none of that, and I think it's rotten.

Paul's solution to the problem? He has promised to introduce 100 amendments, including a complete repeal of NCLB, in order to slow down the committee and force them to take time to consider everything that's in Harkin's proposal.

And that's with good reason. The federal government's heavy-handed, top-down approach in education hasn't delivered results, as Heritage's Lindsey Burke writes:

This represents the ninth such bet since the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, and none has proved successful. NCLB, the most recent reauthorization of ESEA, has left local school districts crying out for more freedom from federal red tape and to have their educational decision-making authority restored.

Burke explains that among the proposals are codifying Obama Administration education priorities, such as the "equitable distribution" of effective teachers among schools and replacing existing federal standards with requirements that states prove they have "college- and career-ready" standards (giving Washington more control over the content taught in local schools). Meanwhile, any state that wants to receive money under Title 1 of the bill--the largest source of federal funding for K-12 education--will have to go along with the Obama Administration's new Common Core standards regime.

More federal involvement in education is not the way to help America's students succeed. It hasn't worked in the past, and there's no reason to believe it will work again. Meanwhile, ramming through an 860-page proposal that was authored behind closed doors isn't the way to transparently reform education, either. Burke says there's a better way:

Instead of, to quote Reagan, another 860 page "bureaucratic boondoggle," policymakers should work to reduce the federal footprint on education. A good proposal would allow states to completely opt out of No Child Left Behind. A good proposal would allow states to spend education dollars in a way that meets student needs and allow states to enact school choice options for families. But Washington hasn't learned its lesson after more than four decades of federal failure in education. Because what we're seeing now is a big government attempt to reinforce the failed status quo.

Slowing down the legislative process and fully considering the ramifications of Harkin's proposal is a good first start. But the next step should be for Congress to allow states to make their own decisions on how to best direct dollars to meet their needs.





TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


808 Silent Majority

ACA Signups Hawaii

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni


Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Back da Blue Hawaii

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together



Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

July 4 in Hawaii

Kakaako Cares

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii


Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

ReRoute the Rail

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Save Dillingham Airfield

School Choice in Hawaii

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii