Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Radical Idea: Shut down the Department of Education

I would like to get rid of the Department of Education. The Constitution doesn't provide for it. This centralized bureaucracy has inflicted harm on our children.

Recently there have been more people calling for the abolishment of the Department of Education. Unfortunately it looks like it will survive a bit longer. In Dept. of Education to Survive GOP, Tad DeHaven starts with:

For those of us who recognize that federal k-12 education spending has been a costly failure, it’s been great to hear some tea party candidates call for the abolition of the U.S. Department of Education.

Unfortunately, the party favored by tea party supporters at the moment has no interest in shuttering the DOE. After all, it was Republican House minority leader John Boehner—possibly the next speaker of the House—who worked with the departed Sen. Ted Kennedy to give us the expensive and intrusive No Child Left Behind law.

Hopefully over the next couple years more and more people will recognize that the Department of Education is not improving education in America, and then it will finally be shut down.


Eric Holcombe said...

And it is former senate majority leader Bill Frist who is behind SCORE with Bill Gates and Arne Duncan's Common Core State Standards (which were all suggested simultaneously by the state governors of course). He suddenly became the "education senator" last year just befor ethe Race to the Trough/Sell out to federal government contest started. Tennessee took the Race to the Trough money with Republican majorities and of course the Dem governor didn't object because it's all "for the children". They just can't say no to the 17% of K-12 funding that is federal dollars.

Anonymous said...

I support home schooling, but not in place of public education. How do you propose we educate the inner city kids? They sure won't get it from home schooling. BTW, Bill Frist has done a terrific job for Tennessee. Wish we had someone like him.

Eric Holcombe said...


I don't propose that "we" educate anyone else's kids. Frankly, it is none of my business - any more than it is to tell them what to wear, eat, drive or live in. I certainly don't think forced taxation at the threat of losing your home in order to educate my children is acceptable. Aside from the fact it hasn't been working for some time now - despite doubling the spending every 10 years. This country existed for over 100 years without government schooling - and over 200 without the federal government interfering with their Dept. of Education. Now they are positioned to completely take it over. I consider Washington DC public schools to be the pre-existing pilot project for 100% federally funded and controlled public education. I don't see the logic in taking the rest of the country there with federally standardized education, plus I am insulted by the lies from Gates, Frist and Arne Duncan that somehow this was all the state governors' idea.

By the way, they never seemed to ask the parents...did they?

Henry Cate said...

Anonymous, I'd like to point out that getting rid of the Federal Department of Education does not mean the end of public schools. All it means is that the control of government schools would be returned to the local and state governments. As Eric correctly points out this is how public schools ran from about the 1870s to when the Department of Education was created in 1979. A number of books give good reasons that the decline of public schools in the last thirty years is partly due to the Federal control of the education process.