Since the 1960s, the federal government has taken more control of schools from local municipalities and states. Washington now has a say over the qualifications of teachers, the frequency of testing and even the food served in school cafeterias.

Yet despite increased spending and added regulations, or perhaps because of them, student performance has stagnated.

The Heritage Foundation has produced a new video describing in layman’s terms how this federal overreach has affected students and communities.

How do you think education can be reformed? Tell us in the comments.

Comments (65)

Suzanne - July 1, 2011

Schools need to return to the states and local communities. The department of education, and teacher’s union should be abolished.

Carolyn K. - July 1, 2011

This governmental mess happened over a span of time, taking little bites at a time, It was very subtle and the average family paid little attention to the long term ramifications. Government regulations are so imbedded that it seems reasonable to me that we need to begin by peeling back the layers, a few at a time. However, there needs to be a strong committment to attaining the goal of returning the power to the states. However,,,,, In today’s political world, that will be a difficult journey. We need strong leadership that won’t buckle to compromises.

Larry Ettinger - July 1, 2011

Get rid of the Federal Department of Education completely. This has been proposed in the past and is still a good idea.

MICHAEL KRAUS - July 1, 2011

This is a good analogy and it gets the message across. I only hope that the voters can take back control of our education system. Unfortunately there are going to be a lot of vested interest trying to keep the system the way it is. The landscape company hired by Steve went away without a fight; but I know that the teachers unions will fight any effort to reform the system. I think that the education voucher system is the easiest route to dismantling the current system. We do not need a government indoctrination system to educate our children.

Mary L Perez - July 1, 2011

As a resident of Louisiana, I have experienced this very isssue that the documentary discusses. New Orleans was a triving educational system until government took more and more control over the schools in the 60’s. Our self serving politicians took more and more away from the schools for their more meaningful projects. I believe that was their goal. Their constituents are more likely to continue voting for the same politicians over and over as long as the can maintain the peoples believes that they are working for them. The uneductated, that are easly convenced over and over that they are on their side. Jefferson is a perfect example of a repersentitive that still even after being convicted would be elected if given the opportunity. So in the long run, they would maintain their dependency on the city government and to control their political voting powers to stay in office. Our uneducated population was made obvious during the Hurrican Katrina experiences by the decisions our residents made. They were made over the years that the government would take care of them.

Belle Tilley - July 1, 2011

Get the darn Federal Government out of the Educational System. Get it out of everything that is was orginially designated to do. It’s our country not the governments and we should have the say as to how its run. Now even our vote don’t count because elections are falsified. Would Obama even be president if the 2008 election had been fair? Who knows but the fact remains that the Federal Government should go back to defending our Country from foreign Invasion and keep their noses out of the other business of this country. Send them all packing. States Rights should be written in stone and never be able to be overthrown or regulated away. The Federal governemtn shoud stick to what the Constitution says it should do and nothing else.

Belle Tilley - July 1, 2011

Sorry folks I meant Get it out of everything that is wasn’t orginially designated to do. Sorry for the booboo

Lisa - July 1, 2011

As a school teacher, I am all for making sure that we are qualified to do our jobs, however, teaching is not about teaching any more. We have to make sure that we teach to the this test and that test. If the students don’t pass the test, then its our jobs. All of the accountablility is on the shoulders of the teachers, not the students, not the parents. If a child fails, well, it’s all the teachers fault. It is time that those who make the laws ask US the teachers what is effective and what isn’t. It is time that the parents take the accountability back of their child. As a parent I am very involved in what my children are doing at their school. With my students, I am lucky to see a parent once a year. And don;t even try to call because they either don’t answer or the phone has been disconnected. It is time to take back our schools, put prayer and God back in and tell the Federal government to BACK OFF.

Paul R. Farrell - July 1, 2011

Excellent presentation. If only we could get the Federal Government out of the schools as easy as the homeowners got rid of the central landscape plans.

Norman Leraas - July 1, 2011

I agree with Larry. Getting rid of the Department of Education would be a major step toward improving our public school system. Charter schools in our state of California have raised the learning curve and reduced the overall cost of educating our kids.

Richard Warren - July 1, 2011

You should spend less time on you lawn care example, and more on explaining why each community cannot live with the common experience of public schools. After all, the original purpose, besides basic literacy, is to foster a common culture. That’s especially critical for curiculum. I agree the other stuff should be ditched.

Pat - July 1, 2011

What a perfect analogy of what has been and is going on with our federal government, not only with schools, but unfortunately, in MANY areas of our lives that seem to be in the process of being “taken over” or changed without our will or desire being considered! We need an opportunity to “vote” concerning those areas that are causing our loss of freedoms to restore us to our original state….a vote that cannot be overturned or appealed or vetoed….a picture of what is currently going on in our nation!

James Gregory - July 1, 2011

I think that the video is both a gross oversimplification and an erroneous generalization of the problems in public education caused by federal encroachment into public education. You are correct in the fact that the federal government has no direct constitutional authority over public education, but many of the statements you made in the video, like the frequency of testing and teacher qualifications are somewhat , incorrect. NCLB, which is the latest reincarnation of the original ESEA Act, leaves the issues of assessment and teacher qualifications up to the states. It does, however, require that all teachers and instructional staff meet these qualifications and that all students be tested using the same assessment. It also requires that all students achieve at average levels of achievement or higher. What has transpired since Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty gave us the first ESEA, is a continual infusion of federal dollars to states and local schools and this has been like heroin. States and schools are now addicted to the money and trying to get rid of this flawed program will be like withdrawing from hard drugs. Since there is no direct tax that says, NCLB on it, most “homeowners” do not realize that they are paying the bill for the services and, to use your analogy, the HOA would be returning money back to the local “homeowner” to pay for the landscaping service. So, the homeowners now believe that they have this extra cash to do things with, and even believe they have enough flexibility in the use of the funds to spend it as they choose; as long as they reach the HOA objectives. Other than the “addiction” the worst part of NCLB, (which was passed under a Republican President, by the way), is a senseless requirement that ALL students reach high levels of proficiency. This is something that has never been done in any nation, let alone the US. One of the ironies of this is that the results of an International study was released, the same year that NCLB was signed into law, that showed educational achievement gaps in every nation in the world and that the greatest gaps existed in countries where the disparity between rich and poor were the greatest.
Now you asked for suggestions on what to do to “fix” education in the US, so, here are my “two cents worth”. First, do what President Reagan wanted to do and that is to do away with the US Department of Education, or at least drastically scale back its roll and make it a research body only. Second, we should not be so obsessed with International comparisons but should focus more on what we need in this country. We really need to develop a true working relationship with business and industry as well as higher ed. to develop curricula and standards that address the needs of the US workplace. Third, (and this actually is part of two), we need to look at true economic reform policies for this country that will ensure that we continue to have meaningful jobs for the graduates when they graduate from the newly aligned schools. This is critical because it will not make any difference how well prepared our students or graduates are if there are no jobs for them when they graduate. This reform is critical because it now takes about five years from the time a state begins to look at e new program or curriculum offering until l it gets into place at the school level. With the rapid pace of change in the world today jobs can come and go while we are trying to prepare someone for them, so we have to find a way to “fast-track” new programs of study so they are more closely aligned with the needs of business and industry. And. last of all, I would suggest that we do away with senseless, one dimensional assessments that really don’t give a valid indicator of a student’s potential for success in life and leave the assessments up to local and state jurisdiction.

Howard Talley - July 1, 2011

I agree with the first poster, plus repeal US Code, Title 20 (Education); pay college athletes and make the NCAA subject to antitrust regulations. We should also do away with Sallie Mae. This might foster competition among colleges for students thereby bringing about lower costs.

R. T. Tidwell - July 1, 2011

The Department of Education should be abolished and the schools returned to the communities. We were doing well until the “peanut man,” from Georgia started the Dept. of Ed. It is one of the many blunders of his administration! I know we would see unemployment jump by thousands, but in the long run it would be worth it!

Bob Smith - July 1, 2011

I wrote to my Senators and Congressman some time ago on this subject. My recommendation was to return all authority back to the states and dismantle the Dept of Education in D.C….

bob - July 1, 2011

I graduated from high school in 1958, the last two years I attended Aggie School which was designed for farm kids and was conducted at the State Agricultural College. Twenty years later I returned to get my degree in Ag Education.
Four of my Aggie teachers were Professors now and each independently of each other told me the same thing. In 1958 a student had to have good grades and the financing to attend college. By 1978 any student could get the financing and because the colleges wanted all that money the instructors were told to lower the academic standards to keep even the poorest performing students and their tution money coming. Thats why we went from number one in education to fourteenth I believe is our current rating. By keeping the poor students they had to deprive the good students of a quality education.
As a teacher and as a parent I learned that schools K-12 get federal dollars for every special education student they have. The temptation and for many the reality is to try to make every student a special needs student and never let them get out of that trap.
This going to be a very difficult cycle to break because we now have generations of under educated instructors at all levels of education. They can pat themselves on the back but only because they don’t know what they don’t know.

Robert & Carla Trutt - July 1, 2011

Get rid of the Federal Department of Education completely. This has been proposed in the past and is still a good idea.

Marlin Seevers - July 1, 2011

Any money paid for educating youth (private school expenses) should be deductible from tax obligations required to go to government schools. This would end the penalty of double payments when private schools are paid, then the government requires taxes for the government schools, too. The current system penalizes parents who pay for a private education, and also have to pay taxes to fund the government schools. And that’s not all: the government schools are allowed to exclude the children of parents who double-pay from a small fraction of government school services.

Curt Krehbiel - July 1, 2011

I agree with Larry Ettinger that the Federal Department of Education should be abolished. It would save billions of dollars. Returning education to the states would end the “brain washing” to liberalism students are getting today. That is, in fact, the only reason President Johnson era “Washington’s Great Society” wanted control over the schools in the first place. Getting rid of other Washington departments i.e., Energy, Agriculture,etc would not only balance the budget but would permit taxes to be reduced and the economy to flourish.
Curt Krehbiel

Joan Cummins - July 1, 2011

I totally agree with Larry Ettinger’s recommendation.
Control of primary and secondary education needs to completely revert back to the states and communities.

MSch - July 1, 2011

I agree that we need simple solutions. But, I believe we will not get to the root of the problem until Education becomes localized.

Diane - July 1, 2011

As a retired teacher, I have seen the waste and mismanagement promoted by Federal government involvement and regulations up close. State and local governments are much more accessible to parents, thus more accountable. The Federal Dept. of Education should be deleted.

Ken Janowiak - July 1, 2011

It’s the money!! The States have become addicted to the federal money tossed at education and accept all the dictates that come with it. What a bargain, for 10% or less that the federal money provides to the states educational expenditures you get regulations which in all likelyhood cost as much or more. I have seen this in action for the 42 years I worked in K-12 education.

Leon Briggs - July 1, 2011

Removal of the Federal Gov. and scrapping the Teachers Unions would provide immediate positive results.
Parents should be able to put their children in schools of their choice staffed with good honest teachers interested in teaching the students, not just punching a time clock.
There are thousands of teachers ready and qualified to educate our children, given the freedom and support of parents that really want education dispensed.

Ginger Allain - July 1, 2011

Federal Regulations are strangeling our nation.
Education should be under the administration of:
First, the parents
Second, The School and City
Third, The State
We need to monitor closely what our children are being taught….. A socialist agenda has been introduced into the educational system which goes against our American educational values. Our children have not been taught our own American History, it has been changed by progressive teacher and educators. We NEED to teach our children WHO WE ARE AS A NATION, and WHO THEY ARE AS A CITIZEN OF THE UNITE STATES.
God Bless Our American Children

bruce shirey - July 1, 2011

It has been said that government closest to the people is the most effective.Local school boards are more responsive than state boards and state boards more than federal. The Federal Department of Education should be reduced to a role of research only. It can submit new ideas to consider but have no authority to force them upon the states. Ideas good for some states would not be adopted by others.

Jeff Bass - July 1, 2011

WOW. That was made so simple and so easy to understand, even a liberal should understand that. Wait a minute, what was I thinking. Thank you Hertiage, I am forwarding this link to my friends, maybe they can help educate some of their friends. Let’s close down the Department of Education and take control!

William Crist - July 2, 2011

Today, July 1, I am no longer a school board member after a 4 year stint. Whew! I would have gladly run again but who needs the frustration and disappointment? Between the budget slashing, fed regs and the fed backed union, board service is mostly about irate parents, conditioned teachers and rubber stamping, not about kids and their education. The solution, as I see it, is eliminate the Fed Dept of Education. Otherwise, it’s only going to get worse!!

George Barker - July 2, 2011

When you spend your educational tax money in your own local community you get responsible results. The further the tax money goes before it is returned to you the more inefficient.The same applies to administration, standards and everything else. Ultimately it is the parents who have to take control of their schools and force administrators to uphold standards that fit their communities.

Carol - July 2, 2011

The Federal Gov’t was never supposed to touch “the people”. Its power was to stop at the state level. They have their hands everywhere. They are causing land to be of no value on purpose and then offering to buy it. They are turning this country into a communist country on purpose.
The solution to this school problem is being address in PA. It is SB1. School Choice Scholarships (vouchers). Please support it. Call you reps. If you are not in PA, ask your state reps to initiate it in your state.
We need to get Constitutional people in our local government, at our state level and especially in Congress.

Linus Heming - July 2, 2011

I agree with Larry Ettinger completely.

Norma Thompson - July 2, 2011

Get rid of the Federal Department of Education. It will return control to states and communities and will save a lot of money. All of those fat cats in the FDE in D.C. would have to get a job.

Jim Anderson - July 2, 2011

I see the role of the federal government as providing for our national defense, diplomatic relations with other countries, and perhaps some infrastructure such as roads. I see little, if any, need for federal government involvement with education.

james - July 2, 2011

we need to reduce the government by at least 75% since the states already have offices in place to do most of the jobs that the government has taken upon itself ! personally i think we should go back to the original documents , which would only cover international relations and leave the states to themselves.

Lollie - July 2, 2011

Yes, get rid of the Fed. Dept. of Ed. Washington should have NO say in local matters. Education should be in the parents’ control.

Pauline Blanka - July 2, 2011

I thought the “War on Education” started by then President Lyndon Johnson was a bad idea at the time, and I believe it has become a monster! Get the Fed. Gov. out of education and give it back to the states where it belongs. This is should be welcome to anyone who cares about how their hard earned money is spent. Leaving the tax dollars in the states would be beneficial for all – except the bureaucracy in Wash., D.C.

William J. Lester Jr - July 2, 2011

Extremely well put. I couldn’t agree more.

You know, this would be a wonderful addition to a civics class.

JOYCE HELEIN - July 2, 2011

ABOLISH THE DEPT. OF EDUCATION AND PUT
SCHOOLS IN PRIVATE HANDS

Suzy Petkus - July 2, 2011

Glorify God or Glorify man…1918 Carleton Washburne,

John Dewey’s protege was hired to establish new system for instruction and learning in 1918.

A new philosophy,curriculum and method was designed to reflect humanistic progressive,socialistic/communistic beliefs and values..

Determine system (philosophy, curriculum, method) used before 1918. Identify those cost effective programs, replicated today in many private and home school settings.

Offer them up as a not for profit; providing services, resources and programs. WE can prevent and overcome problems with learning.

Let us help parents be the advocates for their children, they are called to be…!

Bill Lumpkin - July 2, 2011

Lindsey Burke’s illustration hit the nail on the head…..We need local schools under local control without Federal or State assistance. My wife was a school teacher and saw the cancer of the Federal Control coming…..and it did. We need to reverse that.

Dr Don Willard - July 2, 2011

Education is NOT one of the powers given to the federal government by the constitution. The Department of Education and ALL of its regulations should be dismissed, the funds from fed taxes going to the states at this time should be returned each year to the states based on the amount of taxes collected from each respective state. The difference saved by no Ed Dept employees, etc. would assist with the federal defficit. Each state needs the tax money it gets back from the Dept of Ed else state taxes would need to be increased. My MEd and EdD are from the University of Va and I could add much more detail to a practical solution.

Sigrid Cohn - July 2, 2011

Federal Government has no business med ling in States Education. This is States Right not Federal. Bush promised to get rid of the Education Dept. in Washington, he did not do what he had promised. Its time we give Education completely back to the individual States and get the Feds out of it. The Constitution does not give authority over Education to the Federal Government it is perfu of the States and local Government. Get rid of it.

Edward Aman - July 2, 2011

Reduce Federal government involvement in Public Education and return Education direction to the state and local authorities where it belongs.

John Hazeltine - July 3, 2011

A Very good video using an analogy familiar to millions of Americans. Conversational and not preachy, using language average people understand. Reminds me of the “Fast Draw” skits on CBS Sunday Morning by Josh Landis and Mitch Butler. Please produce more videos like this one.

Samuel H. Fields, Jr. - July 3, 2011

Get government out of the schools and out of everthing, except what the constitution states that it should do…..

Government is into to everything, let’s get them out…..

charles watson - July 3, 2011

I would get rid of any polices that are mandatory. Mandatory means control of masses of people by the few and they control what you must spend to comply with regulations.They are on the stockmarket with the hedge fund managers. Look at car insurance, home owners insurance, business insurance, healthcare insurance. The rates never go down and you never get interest or a rebate for not using the insurance. The same applies to education funds and control. We have children and then they are taken away by the educational system. Just teach the basic subjects and leave the rest to the parents. Don’t allow hazing groups to form. This puts undue pressure on our children. Nothing worse than being harrased at school or work everyday. When it comes to budget cuts, Lets start at the top with presidential and congressional payroles, retirement funds and perks. That’s leadership I can believe in.The only one in power that used his own money to help has been Arnold Swartzenagger! Thanks for listening. A Vietnam Vet.

Carole Smith - July 3, 2011

As a retired teacher with over 36 years experience, I can tell you that the Federal Department of Education is a waste. However, as I know from watching closely local BOE and administrators and teachers when it comes to budgets, there is a tremendous push to spend more, spend more, spend more “for the sake of the children.” Eliminate the Federal D of Ed, and then look long and hard at exactly what the State D of Ed mandates and why and look closely at local requests for more money. I know there is an unbelievable amount of waste, much of it on what is considered the latest and newest fad. Instead of spending more, look at what is being taught. For example, students should know their country’s history, the good and the bad, without judgments being made. However, it is not being taught, and our country’s exceptionalism is necessary for citizens to know and to understand. Sure, as a country we’ve made mistakes over the years, but we’ve done a heck of a lot more good in the world than bad, and love and appreciation of country should be taught as a priority. It is not. I could go on and on, but, frankly, until we bring back more local control and people get more involved in what is being taught to their children (as opposed to what perks and tech are offered to their kids), things aren’t going to change.

Les Thompson - July 3, 2011

Eliminate the total Department of Education and turn Education back to the state and local educational agencies. That is where it should be.

Richard Esplin - July 3, 2011

There is no need for the Federal Department of Education and we should get rid of it.

Gail - July 3, 2011

The more local the control over education, the higher its quality. And, the greater freedom parents have to choose the place and method of education their children receive, the greater responsibility they will assume for its quality. Getting rid of the Fed Department of Education is a good beginning step. Vouchers and true school choice will result in the US once more leading the world in well-educated citizens of all ages.

Jack Newlon - July 3, 2011

That HOA explanation hit the nail on the head. We have the identical problems in the oil, gas, medical, and defense fields.

Truth Seeker - July 3, 2011

I have reared a son, and have 3 grandchildren. I have taught school in the public school system as well as in private schools. I have been observing the education system for quite awhile. I do not think that the public education system can be fixed. We need school vouchers/school choice and it might help some if public schools are privatized and put back into the hands of local overseers with input from the voters. I do not want my grandchildren in a public school. They are a nightmare and are doing our young people a great disservice.

Frank Seib - July 3, 2011

Education is a privilege. We need to take a tough love approach. Include all parties (mom & dad, the student and the teacher). Everyone should be a stakeholder & realize an effect if they do not perform their side of the 3 legged stool! Kids should be held back if they can’t/won’t learn. Get politics out of education. Have longer school days & all year school. The local school boards need reform too. Their needs to be a vetting process to ensure knowledgable individuals are allowed to neon the ballot.

Patricia Bader - July 3, 2011

You can get the government out of the school system leaving it to the people.

Aleta Smith - July 3, 2011

I would like to see education back in the hands of local communities, not the Feds or the States. Also, if any of the Presidents Czars have anything to do with education, they should be eliminated. As a matter of fact, I think we could cut a lot of government spending by doing away with all of the Czars. They surely were not approved by Congress or elected by the people.

Elizabeth Moore - July 4, 2011

Return the schools to local control of the local school districts in compliance with the laws of each individual state after abolishing the Federal Department of Education that is striving to use our children to turn this country into a Socialist Republic instead of a Republic of and for the People, preserved by the many who have fought and died keeping us free from such tyranny! Happy Fourth of July! Celebrate while we still can!

Gramma of nine - July 4, 2011

I totally agree with Larry Ettinger.
It may be a slow process for the changes, but we must begin now. In the education of America’s young people, it’s certainly not “one size fits all”. The Federal Department of Education must realize they have failed the youth of our country.

James R. Mullins - July 4, 2011

Eiminate the Federal Dept.of education. Put control back into State & Local Communities. Charter Schools would flourish, & as we know, they outperform public schools now ..

wally - July 4, 2011

I’m from the old school. I was born in 1939 and began school at the normal age. I was somewhat behind in English since my parents talked Finnish to me nearly all the time. Fortunately, they recognized the problem in time for me to understand and speak English. The schools years ago had the advantage of being able to spank unruly students and I was one of them. It sure put me and many of my friends on the right track. The subjects taught were the basic reading, writing and math with some history and spelling. Children were allowed to play their own games at break periods. Their wasn’t a big brother government looking after us and regulating activities. No one got seriously hurt. In high school, we were encouraged to take the classes that would assist in going to college. Again, our school had few alternate courses so we continued to receive instruction in the basics. We did have ROTC which was OK but not what I would call necessary.
The US needs to return to teaching the basics since education is all about being able to read, write,compute and analyze/problem solving. A diploma should signify the you have the ability to learn. A high grade point average should signify that one has more dedication and possibly more ability. The BS,MS or PHD degree notes you have some area/s of specialty. None of these degrees matter if one can’t demonstrate ones worth.
The US needs to return to more teacher control over the classroom. They are not there to be baby sitters. Reduce the legal barriers to teaching. If the student is unruly, kick the bum out. If he/she keeps up the unruly attitude, kick the bum out for good. Have a draft that the unruly is sent to and where he/she learns the ways of Army.
The US government must get out of the business of education. This function must be left to the local governments and to parents. The federal government does a terrible job of trying to regulate education. I do not believe that a subsidy from the feds helps the poor to learn. This comes from the parents and local schools and teachers. I can relate to this since I am one of five from our family that have a college degree. We were as poor as church mice and had to work to supplement the small amount that our parents could contribute. I’m in favor or giving scholarships to students who qualify.
Promote more local and inexpensive schools of higher education that compete with the large college systems. After seeing some that graduate with a total lack of logic from the elite schools, I’m convinced that local schools could do better. I believe as Stossel that higher education isn’t all its cracked up to be. Many possible students would be better off by starting their our business or by attending a trade or other specialized training course.

joyce s. lafferty - July 5, 2011

put prayer and discipline back in the schools.
do away with tenured teachers. The local boards should be able to fire a teacher who is not preforming as they should. There should be a computer data base that list all teachers that are sex offenders or have other problems so they can not go from school to school.
There is no other profession that I know of that you can not fire a person that does not preform correctly on the job.

Gary Riddle - July 11, 2011

I attended the California public education system during the 1950’s when there was local control of education. Today the system is more costly and less effective. It will be a long process of returning control of education to the states and much longer to return control to the local level. It must start in Washington with elected representatives that believe the Federal government has no business regulating education. I see no hope for California even if that happens. California has more eggheads in public office that there are in Washington. Which says a lot for the intelligence of the voters in California..

Jeanette - July 15, 2011

An excellent example of the school system today! In my opinion, parents actively voicing their dismay of federal government control in education is key to improving conditions of the school system.

Abby - July 19, 2011

I agree with James Gregory, they need jobs, or why else bother? And when the tests become the main indicator of success, some students just do the tests nothing else.

Lisa, as a parent who emails teachers every week (some weeks I email all of the teachers) I disagree, and I see parents getting blamed for everything and teachers claiming “government immunity” the moment they are asked to explain to a superintendent why they ignored test scores, put student in wrong class, misgraded assignments, used 1:1 time to unload personal problems on student, etc. Teaching is most certainly a cooperative venture which includes a motivated student, a motivated parent, a motivated teacher and a school that is not fixated on one thing like gov’t test.

Deregulation might be good, however, I’ve lived in countries where there is more regulation, more uniformity and more education, not necessarily more jobs, but graduates know more, like languages, math, science, etc. The problem as I see it in the past 10 years or so that my student has been a student mostly in public schools is there is no flexibility, no gifted ed, there is a partnership with BigPharma and any student who does not conform for whatever reason gets forcibly drugged or coerced, and parents who refuse get to talk to CPS.

Parents should be the first stop in education, not the last stop. Parents set the tone at home for learning, what parents do their kids will do. If parents read, kids read. If parents drink beer and watch TV, kids do same.

Be a good role model, be you parent, teacher, student or hopefully all three, because none of us ever stop being students of life.

It is easier to blame the federal government for incompetent administration, it’s harder to make a place for your student regardless of how much work is involved.

I am a strong advocate of home-schooling programs like K12, State Online schools (Oregon has for e.g.) and free education that is delivered by computers, where the whole family can learn along with one student, but only if they PARTICIPATE, that’s the key. Not necessary doing homework with little Johnny but communicating with his teachers, reading the assignments, discussing them with him, showing interest…this wets the appetite for more…no government can replace a curious child who wants to learn, nor can it replace a devoted parent who wants to teach that child, the last thing the federal government should be doing is limiting parents, punishing parents, restricting parents who care. There are plenty who do not care, but there are some who used to care and were beaten down by “helpers” with “services.” First, get rid of the unnecessary services. Streamline OSPI and OAH and get rid of the lawyers. Make school administration more accessible to parents and to student organizations. There are few interesting choices for kids that are bored with “same old” like the pink flamingos on all the lawns. MOTIVATION is the key, CREATIVITY is the answer, not a bigger federal budget.

russ - July 26, 2011

Just another bureaucracy that desperately needs to go away.
Our entire county is being smothered by them.
Every time I see the list of departments created in California I get sick. No wonder we are broke .

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