Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Monday, January 30, 2012

"Progressive" Means National Control

The various presidential debates continue to bring up the question, will you abolish the U.S. Department of Education? That may seem like an off-the-wall idea, but Ronald Reagan supported it, and it was a plank in the Republican Party Platform in the 1980s. We never had a Department of Education before Jimmy Carter created it as a payoff to the teachers unions that endorsed his candidacy for President in 1976. The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution reserves to the states all powers not delegated to the federal government, and education is one of those powers. But as soon as the Department of Education was created, it developed an army of lobbyists for federal control through dishing out federal money.

The view of the liberals and progressives is that the education of children is simply too important to be left to parents or the states. So the liberals have been trying for years to impose national content standards on the schools, and to achieve this they tie those demands to grants of federal money. The liberal agenda is to intercept parents' rights to transmit their values to their children by changing the kids' values while they are in school.

The current version of this push is called Common Core Standards. It has started with standards for English language arts and mathematics, and national standards for science, history and other subjects are already on the drawing board. The experts have also been building a computer file of personal information on all students, from preschool to high school, and trying to maintain it through college and into the workforce. The schools are demanding access to all kinds of personal data, and also the right to exchange that data with other government agencies.

It surely would never have occurred to our Founding Fathers that some bureaucrats in Washington were more capable than parents in creating educational curriculum for children.

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