Friday, February 18, 2011

Opinion: Keep Arne Duncan Out Of Education

By Joe Mack & Shane Vander Hart/Politico ~ So soon after the elections, will we now witness the agony of betrayal?

Something special happened in November. Americans affirmed the idea that the people were the fountain of government authority.

The federal government’s foremost transgression over the last half-century has been encroachment on powers “reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Among the most important is the authority over education. By tradition, Americans have viewed that power as one of local control – subject to the scrutiny of engaged parents.

The progressive movement has been working to change that. It did so initially through creeping centralization, which slowly took authority and prominence from parents. It then delivered devastating blows to local control through vigorous expansion of the federal role.

The most recent of these was brought to us by Arne Duncan, the education secretary.

He embedded the $4.35 billion Race to the Top program in the infamous “stimulus” bill.

Through a carrot-and-stick scheme, that program foisted the common core standards on the cash-starved states. Only Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska and Gov. Rick Perry of Texas —later joined by Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia—had the courage to outright reject the standards and the funds tied to it.

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