I've been working in the school system for eight years and it's been my distinct impression that the DOE is mandate-driven and more concerned with grant applications than actually spending money to educated children. During the Bush era, the cry was No Child Left Behind and from all I can see, it actually set education back several years. I don't know if we'll ever recover from NCLB. I try to stay abreast of educational issues and this latest Race to the Top, sponsored by now Sec'y Edu Arne Duncan.
Heritage.org talks about this latest education initiative and how it seems to be more of a teacher-union protection scheme than anything else. One paragraph in particular strikes home.
Proven education reform leaders like Louisiana and Colorado also lost points and finished out of the money because their state’s chosen reforms threatened union priorities. Meanwhile Hawaii (which the Data Quality Campaign ranked 17th for education data systems, which the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools ranked 34th for the strength of their charter laws, and which got a D- from the National Council on Teacher Quality) finished third and will receive $75 million. Oh, but they had 100% “buy in” from the unions. So much for Secretary Duncan’s claim that RttT was committed to “putting the needs of children ahead of everyone else.”So, Louisiana loses because we put education reform ahead of teacher unions, but Hawaii gets the unions to buy in and gets funded. Where does Obama hail as his home state? Amazing.
The Department of Education is a drain on our tax dollars and should be immediately abolished. That seems like a good priority for Republican candidates everywhere. Then we can begin abolishing other agencies, like the EPA, and BATFE