Tuesday, May 10, 2011

What is effective education reform?

If society is serious about fixing government schools it would do better to get rid of federal programs, organizations and rules.  Then parents could fix the local problems.  Bringing Education Reform Back Home makes a great point, that large bureaucratic organizations don't reform:

A just-released study from the Government Accountability Office uncovers massive duplication in federal government programs. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) estimates that the resulting waste costs taxpayers more than $100 billion a year.

This may be news to some in Washington, but not to Americans who have to carry out Washington’s policies at the local level. Every day, they live the waste, fraud and duplication.

Take our local public schools. From 1995 to 2001, the House Education and Workforce Committee’s oversight and investigations subcommittee, which I chaired at the time, did an exhaustive study of what works and what’s wasted in the federal education bureaucracy. Not to our surprise, we found that locally directed efforts — by the folks who know the names of the children they’re responsible for educating — work best.

We learned that successful schools weren’t the product of tens of billions in federal spending. They were characterized by parental involvement, local control, an emphasis on basic academics and dollars actually spent in the classroom.

Homeschooling takes this to the logical conclusion.  Parents don't need to hassle with pages of forms.  They don't need to brush up some the latest fad.  They can focus on teaching their children, doing what is best for each individual child.

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