By Getting Rid Of Education Department, Trump Can Fulfill Reagan’s Wish

Feb 18, 2017 by

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Dennis Cuddy –

On Feb. 7, Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., with co-sponsors from seven states, introduced HR899 to eliminate the Department of Education.

As the one who wrote the first draft of President Reagan’s published essay, “Overview of Education Reform Issues,” I know of his desire to reverse President Jimmy Carter’s establishment of the department in 1979. If Congress passes the bill, President Trump can fulfill President Reagan’s desire by signing the legislation.

When the debate over establishing the Education Department occurred in 1979, Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, D-N.Y., asked, “Will children learn more?  Will schools and colleges teach better?  Will vital resources make their way through the bureaucracy and into the classroom?”

And he placed in the Congressional Record editorials from many leading newspapers opposing an Education Department.

For instance, the Wall Street Journal at the time opined that “the proposal to create a DOE is one of the most inane policy ideas to come down the pike in a long time.”

The New York Times commented that “according to the polls, the American people (including most civil rights groups) do not want it.”

And even the Washington Post warned that “a DOE, if such unfortunately is enacted into law, will become a gigantic single-minded lobbying outfit. It will be the NEA writ large … and the best thing … would be for Congress to bury it.”

The NEA of course is the National Education Association, the nation’s largest labor union.

An Education Department was President Carter’s payback for NEA political support, and Post editors probably knew that six years earlier then-NEA President Catherine Barrett had proclaimed in the Saturday Review of Education that “in the year 2000 … basic skills, which currently represent nearly the total effort in elementary schools, will be taught in one-quarter of the present school day. … The teacher will be a conveyor of values, a philosopher. … We will be agents of change.”

American education has deteriorated since basic skills have been de-emphasized, and relevant to the values mentioned by Barrett, Kansas NEA Executive Director John Lloyd revealed that “Rules for Radicals” author Saul Alinsky (admired by President Obama and Hillary Clinton) was hired to train NEA staff members (and) “integrated radicalism” into the union.

Editors of most leading newspapers, as well as President Reagan and Sen. Moynihan, knew that academic achievement would be improved by classroom teachers rather than by bureaucrats in an Education Department. State and local school systems could compile new successful teaching methods and activities according to subject matter and/or grade levels to be accessed by other teachers anywhere.

For instance, after the teachers at Jefferson Junior High in Washington, D.C., began intensive phonics instruction, the reading scores for ninth graders went from 8.2 in 1979 to 10.4 in 1980, the first year that intensive phonics was introduced (the national norm was 9.8).

Similarly, after the Spalding method of phonics instruction (which includes not only direct analytical phonics instruction, but also penmanship, spelling and reading comprehension) was introduced at Gallego Elementary School (52% Hispanic) in Tucson, the cost of reading instruction per pupil dropped to only $2.61 per year, and 52% of the student population went on the Honor Roll, according to the school’s principal, Mary Musgrave.

Even so, during education hearings some years ago, Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., noted that it takes six times the number of people to administer federal dollars as for normal funding. And Sen. Tim Hutchinson, R-Ark., said that half the school paperwork at the state level is to comply with federal requirements, and cited Arizona State Superintendent Lisa Keegan’s estimate that half of her employees were overseeing federal dollars.

If we don’t have federal bureaucrats and their requirements siphoning off a huge chunk of our taxes, we will have more to spend on education in each state. By signing HR899 into law, President Trump would make many teachers, state legislators, parents, taxpayers and even some newspaper editors happy.

The legislation contains only one sentence: “The Department of Education Shall Terminate on December 31, 2018.”

Between now and the end of 2018, the new Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos can begin reducing federal involvement in education, returning power to the states and localities, and by setting in process staff cuts at the Education Department, the sooner the better.

  • Cuddy, called by the late Rep. Henry Hyde “one of our nation’s great experts on education,” was a senior associate at the Department of Education from 1982 to 1988. He is the author of “NEA: Grab for Power.”

Source: By Getting Rid Of Education Department, Trump Can Fulfill Reagan’s Wish | Stock News & Stock Market Analysis – IBD

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1 Comment

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    The time for overinflated buracracy is over. Not just in education. Finally a step in the write direction. Too much time and and money has already been wasted, at the expense of nearly two generations of children who have been cheated out of a quality education. Not my child! Not this generation! Get rid of DOE, and Common Core, its pathetic brain child. Schools can get back to the buisness of teaching, not just preparing studets to pass a standardized test. And yes ladies and gentelmen, that is what passes for public school ciriculum in this day and age. If anyone ever cared to look into just what schools are really teaching our children, there would be such outrage. But parents are not encouraged or even wanted in the classroom anymore. But if anyone is even one week late paying taxes, then we are fined, threatened with lawsuits or even jailed. Sad and sickening.

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