Get federal government out of schools News Journal / Letters to the Editor
There comes a time when things reach a tipping point. I have watched for many years the creeping cancer of federal intervention into K-12 education, education is a local matter, not a federal matter. Every time the federal government interferes in education, it makes things worse. Whether it is nutrition standards that children will not eat or alleged equity, its heavy hand inevitably makes it worse. Race to the Top was supposed to help education, but for every dollar to the classroom $2 to $5 of overhead was created in the bureaucracy. Administrators spent countless hours redoing plans to satisfy multiple approvers, only to have to redo it again. Of the $100 million plus devoted to Delaware, half stayed with Department of Education in Dover. How does that help children? In the meantime, local districts had state funding cut from initiatives that were already in flight that directly impacted the children.
Now we hear of the new accountability system ostensibly done by the state to rate schools, but the federal government wants “consequences” for those who want to opt out of the Smarter Balance tests. There are a multitude of ways parents can determine the quality of the schools that serve them, including accreditation organizations, parental feedback web based services and actually visiting the schools. We all know there are some students to whom the state tests offer no value to, whether special education or gifted, they add no value other than provide some basis for this accountability system. I applaud parents who stand up for their children against the bully of state testing. Not only do the tests take an inordinate amount of time for students with little value, they monopolize school technology resources for two months of a nine month school year. In conclusion, I think it is time to just say no. No more should we allow federalization of our education system, it is time to return to local control. If that means we forgo the small amount of money we receive from the federal government, then so be it. Let them reduce the deficit or pay the national debt, not spend money they do not have.