GOP senator says Dems are trying to create a ‘national school board’

Jun 18, 2013 by

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A top-ranking Republican senator says Democrats are using their education policies to transfer control of America’s public schools from local districts and states to a “national school board” in Washington D.C.

During Saturday’s GOP radio address, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R – Tenn.) said the U.S. Department of Education is using a “congestion of mandates” to strip state and local education leaders of their decision-making powers.

Alexander cited the No Child Left Behind law and its subsequent waivers, as well as the Race to the Top initiative, as proof of the Democrats’ master plan, reports Newsmax.com.

Those rules and requirements would grow leaps and bounds if Democrats succeed in passing a new bill sponsored by Sen. Tom Harkin (D –Iowa). Harkin’s bill – “Strengthening America’s Schools Act of 2013” – would create 25 new federal programs and force states to report even more data to D.C. bureaucrats, Alexander said.

“If you remember the childhood game, ‘Mother, May I?’ then you have a pretty good sense of how the process works – states must come to Washington for approval of their plans to educate their students,” Alexander said, according to Newsmax.

It’s important to note the No Child Left Behind law was the signature education policy of President George W. Bush, a Republican.

But Alexander’s point is well-taken: Proponents of a strong, centralized government – in both political parties – believe America’s public education system can only be improved with active oversight from Washington D.C.

That will increase once the new and untested Common Core learning requirements take full effect next year in 45 states. While Common Core is billed as a “voluntary” state initiative, the federal government pressured states into adopting the program and has spent millions to facilitate the switch.

Not only that, but the U.S. Department of Education is actively involved in overseeing the creation of Common Core-related standardized tests that students will begin taking during the 2014-15 school year.

It all adds up to state and local K-12 leaders having even less control over what gets taught in their schools.

Alexander said the Democrats’ approach to education reveals that they don’t “trust” parents, classroom teachers or state leaders “to care about and help educate their children, and they want someone in Washington to do it for them,” reports Newsmax.

Alexander also used the weekly address to tout the GOP’s education plan – “every Child Ready for College or Career” – that would require states to have “high (learning) standards and quality tests,” but wouldn’t “prescribe those standards.”

The GOP plan would expand school choice options for low-income families, encourage the creation of more charter schools, allow states to create teacher evaluation plans free of federal mandates, and offer state leaders more flexibility in how they spend federal K-12 funds, according to Alexander.

GOP senator says Dems are trying to create a ‘national school board’ – EAGnews.org powered by Education Action Group Foundation, Inc..

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