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  • Standardizing Mediocrity in America's Public Schools

    Federal Preschool Programs

    The Obama administration’s Race to the Top program presents states with a choice: adopt national standards for academic performance, or refuse desperately-needed federal dollars. The problem? National standards only standardize mediocrity, while taking power over educational choices out of the hands of parents and local school boards and transferring it to the cumbersome and often misled bureaucracy of Washington.  Recent scandal over the corrupt and ineffectual Head Start program goes to show how ill-equipped the federal government is at directly administering a national school program; while the Obama administration’s shameless torpedoing of the wildly successful and popular DC Opportunity Scholarship Program is an example of how Washington power politics can blast sensible and much-needed reform fostered by local communities.

    In this week’s Heritage in Focus podcast, domestic policy analyst Lindsey Burke discusses the problems inherent in national standards.  Listen to the podcast here.  Also on the Heritage audio page, Executive Director of DC Parents for School Choice, Virginia Walden Ford discusses the rise and fall and future hope of the DC Opportunity Scholarship program in an XM-Sirius radio interview.  Listen in here.

    Posted in Education [slideshow_deploy]

    3 Responses to Standardizing Mediocrity in America's Public Schools

    1. Pingback: Rightwing Links (June 4, 2010)

    2. kay, delaware says:

      Does anyone know if "standardizing" means that teachers will no longer have the flexibility (that some of them do) to use alternate curriculum?

    3. Susan, Gainesville, says:

      Florida, in general, has one of the worst public school systems in the USA. In Alachua County where my family lives, the system is broken & student behavior is out of control. There is some opportunity for change in upcoming school board elections which allow 3 changes. This, however, is too late to help a college town with over 51% of land belonging to state/University and off tax rolls. The economy is tanked. The school board's solution to the "problems" in our public schools was to implement a new "dress code" this year. Every family with a child/children in school had to go out and purchase uniforms that not only comply with county policy, but further can be made more onerous by each school principal. How can we afford this? And, will the "problem" kids really comply with a dress code? There was not a test year with specific schools to see if this works. Just a mandate. The teachers are supposed to add to their duties, "writing up" and sending home kids with clothing that doesn't comply. When will they teach while also writing up all the other discipinary referrals? I seriously doubt that my son is going to learn any more because of his clothes.

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