We talk a lot about the abuses of the federal government, but they have become so commonplace, no one seems to pay attention anymore. This is the first of a few articles I will write about where I think the federal government has overstepped its bounds.
Education is clearly not a function of federal government specified in our constitution, yet the federal government has gained more and more power and exercises control of state school funding. This control of the purse strings allows them to dictate policy to schools. Health, Education and Welfare was a bureaucracy originated by executive authority of Dwight Eisenhower in 1953. Then in 1979, Congress passed a bill called the Department of Education Organization Act which divided the Department of Health, Education and Welfare into the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services. The bill was signed into law by Jimmy Carter. As you see, both parties are complicit and congress is quite compliant in helping the executive branch overreach and abuse states’ rights.
No child left behind initiated by George W. Bush had noble intent, as did the actions of other presidents who infringed on states’ right to control education. The unfortunate part is that the federal officials cannot stop meddling. Bureaucracies themselves are often an unnecessary expense and the programs they initiate are likewise costly. In other words, they spend our federal tax money foolishly in areas that clearly belong to the states. The end result is more testing, more reports by school administrators, less teacher time with students, lower test scores and the worst of all a poorer education for our children.
Head Start affects pre-school, kindergarten and elementary school children. Head start is not even managed by the Department of Education. It is managed by the Department of Health and Human Services. This is a program to remove responsibility from parents for children’s nutrition and give control to the government. Each bureaucracy created seems to have a desire to increase their reach and power. They do this at the expense of our children and in this case push the parents out of the way.
Common Core was started by the states as a means to monitor and compare educational success of school districts throughout the country. This program was usurped by the Obama Administration. It is no longer a program about increasing student knowledge. Now it has become a tool of indoctrination.
The anti-bullying campaign ran by the DOE under the Obama Administration was not aimed at bullying in general. The target was to stop ridicule of gay and lesbian students. That was a great idea, but it did not stop there. The administrator of the program thought the best way to stop people from discriminating was to teach children how to perform sexual act of all kinds. Can you imagine thinking teaching anal-intercourse to a seven-year-old to be a good idea? Obama’s administrator did.
I think the Department of Education needs to be shut down. I think states and school districts should manage all aspects of education and make every effort to keep parents more engaged. Testing that compares educational abilities among states is a good idea, but should be managed by the states. Testing should not be so frequent that it becomes routine or overburdening. Better we can do.