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  • Morning Bell: No Bureaucrat Left Behind

    Did you know that it is Education Month in the Obama White House? Neither did we. But apparently it is, and accordingly the President crossed the Potomac yesterday to visit an elementary school in Arlington, Virginia, where he pushed for reauthorization of the unpopular No Child Left Behind (NCLB) program. It was a classic President Obama performance. First he denounced the “stale debates” over whether education needed “more money” or “more reform.” Then—surprise—he said what the country really needed was both: “We need more resources for the schools, but we’ve got to reorganize how our schools are doing business in order to assure success for our young people. … Let’s seize this education moment. Let’s fix No Child Left Behind.” No, let’s not.

    NCLB is actually the eighth reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA). Passed as part of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty, this first federal intervention into what was originally a state responsibility included just five titles in 32 pages. The effect of the ESEA was felt quickly across the country—but not by the nation’s school children: after passage of ESEA, state education bureaucracies doubled in just five years. Now NCLB spans more the 50 programs, 10 titles, and 600 pages. The bureaucrats are winning.

    According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), in 2010 there were 151 K-12 and early childhood education programs in 20 federal agencies totaling $55.6 billion annually. NCLB alone cost states an additional 7 million hours in paperwork at a cost of $141 million. A 1999 GAO study of 10 federal education programs found that by the time a taxpayer dollar reached a local school district, up to 17 percent of the funding had been drained by administration.

    And President Obama has only made the problem worse. Forty-one states wasted millions of taxpayer dollars and administrative man hours trying to persuade Obama Education Department bureaucrats to give their states Race to the Top stimulus money. Louisiana’s application alone was 260 pages with a 417-page appendix. And in the end, the Obama Administration just wound up giving the cash to their government union political allies. What a colossal waste of time and money.

    And what have federal taxpayers gotten for all this federal education spending? Nothing. Federal education spending has more than tripled since 1970, yet academic achievement has remained flat. Heritage Foundation Director of Domestic Policy Studies Jennifer Marshall will testify before the House Education Committee today:

    A half-century of always-expanding and ever-shifting federal intervention into local schools has failed to improve achievement. But it has caused an enormous compliance burden. The damage isn’t just wasted dollars and human capital that could have more effectively achieved educational excellence. It has also undermined direct accountability to parents and taxpayers while encouraging bureaucratic expansion and empowering special interests.

    Since 1965 our nation has chosen to direct more of its education dollars through Washington, D.C. This has empowered bureaucrats, weakened parents, and been a disaster for our students. We need to change course. States should have the freedom to opt out of federal education programs and should be allowed to consolidate federal funding to direct resources to any lawful education purpose they see fit. Bottom-up education reform will only really occur when local governments are free from federal paperwork and don’t have to beg federal bureaucrats for education dollars.

    Quick Hits:

    • After a third reactor building explosion was confirmed, Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan delivered a nationally broadcast message today, acknowledging a much higher risk of releasing radiation into the atmosphere.
    • Despite Japan’s crisis, India and China and some other energy-ravenous countries say they plan to keep building new nuclear power plants.
    • According to Gallup, support for offshore drilling and oil exploration in Alaska are at all time highs.
    • Senate Republicans say they will block the confirmation of a new Commerce Department secretary until the administration submits three free-trade agreements to Congress.
    • A former chief executive of the California public employee pension fund has been accused of pressuring subordinates to invest billions of dollars of pension money with politically connected firms.
    Posted in Education [slideshow_deploy]

    73 Responses to Morning Bell: No Bureaucrat Left Behind

    1. George Colgrove VA says:

      This must be the corner stone in keeping the DoEd going sine LBJ was the crook who started that disappointment.

      This quick analysis done by Conn is top notch and demonstrates the mess the federal workforce has created not only in the DoEd, but also in the DoEn, DoT, States Dept., EPA, FCC, and DoD. The federal Government has the propensity to create more and more work to justify more and more positions for more and more hires.

      Conn wrote, "151 K-12 and early childhood education programs in 20 federal agencies totaling $55.6 billion annually. NCLB alone cost states an additional 7 million hours in paperwork at a cost of $141 million.” What this is demonstrating is that when put in charge, the federal workforce will create a highly viscous process that makes anything they touch expensive, cumbersome, and slow. If NCLB (or ESEA) is passed, it will be an Obama-nation. This legislation and the DoEd needs to go the way of the dinosaurs. The feds have proven they have failed. That $55.6 billion can be used for far better things than process, bureaucracy, and sloth. And we can save school districts all over from the pointless and needless paperwork that we are all getting buried under.

      If LBJ had a war on poverty, all his legacy is showing is that his solutions ended up creating more poverty in this the once richest country this planet ever saw – he lost the war. It is time to withdraw the overpaid and ineffective federal workforce and stop the damage they have caused and are causing on our children’s futures.

      Give this power back to the states where it belongs. Through competition of ideas, we will soon regain our top seat of educational excellence, where it should have been all along.

      This country needs to be FED FREE!

    2. Ken Jarvis - Las Veg says:


      Why does the HF and the GOP want to END PUBLIC EDUCATION?

      Public Education is the Backbone of the American System,

      and should be IMPROVED.

    3. Ted, Raleigh, NC says:

      If so much money is being spent on education why are so many teachers losing their jobs because of budget cuts at the state level? Why is this money not getting to the proper place…at the grass roots level?

    4. George Colgrove VA says:

      "Bottom-up education reform will only really occur when local governments are free from federal paperwork and don’t have to beg federal bureaucrats for education dollars."

      Just had to be restated.

    5. Jim --New Haven, Ct. says:

      Nauseating!! But, how do we stop this madness??Are our newly-elected Tea Party Reps being informed?? There's got to be a concerted effort to attack this and other problems SOON, or come 2012, we will have nothing to offer and Obama and most likely, a Senate will be elected again.

      I keep waiting for the RNC to show some signs of a game plan, but I'm seeing "more of the same".Who's going to lead???

    6. Ken Jarvis - Las Veg says:

      How does HF suggest

      kids with – Leaning Disabilities – get educated?

      Seems like – OnLine Learning would be Perfect for them.

    7. Norm LA says:

      The 2012 presidential campaign is in full force; not that the current office holder ever stopped telling people He's the Man. He and his partners in crime have made a list where he can be punched [verbally of course - I would not use the word target]. And the teleprompter will be loaded with these incrementally [like he wants to get to Single Payer].] He killed the opportunity for a adequate education in DC. And now wants votes from the same parents. Get rid of the teachers unions and allow the educators to do what they are capable of doing.

    8. Frank, Florida says:

      The Federal Government has no Constitutional authority to involve itself in the States educational systems. The Department of Education and all Federally administered educational grants to the States should be eliminated! Just like the Unconstitutional ObamaCare, States should just "opt out" of these programs now, even if it means a loss of Federal money. They could drastically cut their Educational bureaucracies & return more local control to their schools. This includes elimination of the NCLB program. Besides being Unconstitutional, all Federal efforts have failed their objectives. Time to weed out the failed Federal policies that this nation can longer afford, no matter how lofty their objectives seemed when originally started. With more local control , the local schools might even surprisingly improve, despite less money spent.

    9. Roger TN says:

      The sacred cow of government. Its for the children, sure and the moon is made of blue cheese. Eliminate the Dpeartment of Education, make direct grants to the states based on either achievements or plans that will seriously improve the system. (Talk to Michelle Rhee) Permit choice in school systems, (e.g. charter schools or private schools), Competition will improve the system overall. Last but certainly not lease, decertify the NEA. The duplication in all government programs is astounding. Even though the GAO has pointed out that there is multiple duplication of programs, the Pols can't find a way to cut the deficit in the current year budget by a mere $100B. Well, if we continue with the status quo, our children and grandchildren that can't attend the prestigeous expensive private schools, they won't understand what they have lost due to the inactivity of our political classes.

    10. toledofan says:

      I think the area of education is one of our most distressing national man made disasters. We should hang our heads in shame that we allowed the governemnt to intrude into a simple process, complicating it in the name of political correctness. We have done our kids a big disservice and have allowed our nation to be dumbed down. Everywhere you look the liberal agenda has failed or is failing miserably and it's obvious why; the lefts agenda doesn't fit the times and in almost all cases without some berock principles to follow or principled guidlines, everybody just worries about themselves, has little sense of community and runs away from conflict because they have neither the common sense or spine to do what is right.

    11. Tom Gorman - Oak Rid says:

      Seems like an ideal program to save $65B of federal tax dollars – end it! Return education to the locals and get it completely out of DC. It is simply another example of "good wishes" becoming another "black hole" for wasted money, with no positive results. I'm sure that there are isolated cases where these programs changed someone's life, but these programs end up "watering the flowers with a fire hose" with excessive waste and few examples where it is "just right'.

    12. Lew Richards Palm Ba says:

      America needs a Real , Honest, President !

      What we have is a cheer leader for the Socialistic Government Unions!!

      Wake up Folks! President Obama talks out of all three sides of his mouth and yet cannot speak the truth.America is hurting either from his not knowing what to do for America or his knowing what to do to harm America.

      This is the first time in my life( I am 78 years old) that I fear we have an enemy of America sitting in our White House, all his actions and lack say I am correct!

    13. Michael Scrimsher, B says:

      As a parent of 5, school board member for over 15 years, and taxpayer, the fact that the Fed. has it's nose in Education is appalling. And Fed involvement gets more entangling every year. Clearly, there is no Constitutional mandate or authority to do so. The 10th amendment makes that very clear. And NCLB is killing us. We would do well to remind ourselves of the 4 essential elements of a free market and a free enterprise system, the thing that the Great American experiment used to be.

      1. Freedom to Buy.

      2. Freedom to Sell.

      3. Freedom to Try.

      4. Freedom to Fail.

      With NCLB, we have effectively removed the freedom to fail. Common sense and many years of history demonstrate that failure is a natural law that we can't avoid, eliminate or get around, no matter how hard we try. Sure, we want all students to learn and succeed. But we can't force the matter, no matter how hard we try or how much $$$ we spend.

    14. Ronald Zahn, De Pere says:

      You note that federal spending for education has more than tripled since 1970, while achievement remains flat. You then suggest a better way to distribute federal dollars — block grants with fewer strings attached. The true conservative voice is this: No federal dollars for education. These education dollars should never have gotten to the federal treasury in the first place, but should be left at home for states and communities to collect and disburse according to local choices and priorities. Our national Constitution simply does not grant to the federal government any authority or power over education.

    15. Bill says:

      It's fairly amazing that your reporting on NCLB doesn't mention it was started in 2001 under then President Bush. I appreciate getting the Foundation's take on the issues of the day, but it's ridiculous to be so blatantly partisan. To be taken seriously, I would think you need to expand your horizons to beyond simply bashing the President every day over another issue.

    16. Dwight Broadstone says:

      Excellent article

      Heritage is arare voice of sanity

      Keep up the good work


      Dwight Broadstone

    17. Robert, North Richla says:

      The best way to opt out of federal education programs is to abolish the Department of Education, which Rand Paul has proposed in his package of $500 billion in spending cuts. We simply do not need a federal bureaucracy dictating to a state bureaucracy that dictates to the local school system – where administrators are overpaid to read federal and state memos. But I am glad you showed the link between Bush and L.B.J. Our combined government (federal, state and local) never grew faster than when George W. Bush was President. Go back to 2000, when he campaigned on "small government" and school choice. It almost makes John Boehner look like an honest "man?"

    18. Freddel, Walnut Cree says:

      The 17 percent of federal education dollars absorbed by administrative expenses does not take into account the additional time of ordinary school officials and teachers must take to maneuver, wheedle, and actually implement myraid programs using the "free" money conditionally bestowed with strings attached. The GAO study indirectly validates the movement to grant students (and their guardians) vouchers and scholarships to attend the schools of their choice. The students first "bottoms up" approach to to educational funding reorients incentives and organizational efficiency. Of course this is opposed by existing bureaucrats and teacher's unions who might find that their services are no longer needed or wanted.

    19. Richard Cancemi, Arl says:

      Socialist Liberals, have been gnawing away at American greatness with their ideologic stupidity. We have an infestation of them in every aspect of society and finally an infestation in the White House. Education has been relegated to indoctrination of socialist ideas, teaching children what to think but not how to think. America's greatness and success has been sacrificed (murdered?) on thier altar of modern Marxism.

      The average american doesn't have the foggiest notion of what lies beneath all the phoney rhetoric of the Socialists nor what kind of America they wish to create. The goal is to have a one world government. It's what they believe in and would sacrifice the USA to it.

      Obama, as the prime example, puts out the blather but never the truth.

      God help us all. Americans need to wake up to these un-americans!

    20. Russ Brown says:

      The Department of Education in Washington is a waste of tax payers money. Education is each States responsibility. Each State has unique needs in their education program. The Federal approach of "one size fits all" is a disaster. I spent 42 years as a teacher and an administrator in both public and private schools. Attempts by the federal government to inject special programs has been a total failure.

    21. Scott says:

      NCLB is the biggest killer of our educational system ever devised. Why? Because it only works one way… by lowering the standards of achievement so that even the most incompetent of the students can achieve a passing grade. This removes any challenge for the better students to excel. We should return to the old ways, where the more capable you were, the more challenges you were given. And if you were mentally incapable of keeping up with your peers, you were moved to special classes where you didn't slow down your classmates.

      People say putting slower students into seperate classes is crule, and causes them to be riduculed. When I was in high school, it was just accepted by the student body that the special ed students were different, and had different needs. They still played sports, and participated in class activities, but they weren't an anchor around the ankles of those who wanted to be challenged in school. Isn't it better for them to learn in school what their limits are, rather then give them false hope by pretending that they aren't different? Isn't telling them that they are just as smart and capable as everyone else more crule. When they leave school, they are going to have to exist in the real world, and lieing to them isn't going to make it easier on them.

      NCLB is a lie. It's a politically correct, feel good piece of legislation that is dragging our educational system into the sewer. Instead of being challenged to excell, our students goals are being set by the least capable among them. And it is this that is going to ruin this country in the long run.

    22. Clay Brendle, CT says:

      Basically, this is just one more example of the underlying issue we americans face on a daily basis-putting the brunt of the responsibility to manage our own lives on our government, instead of handling it ourselves, like we should be doing. Our government CAN'T do ANYTHING without studying it, reporting on it, conferring on it, ad nauseum. That's just the way it is. That just equals $$$! Take control of your own lives, and your children's, by growing up and man up/woman up!!! If everyone took care of their own, instead of looking for Big Brother/Sister to help them, to coddle them, to take care of them, things would be much different.

    23. RUTH SC says:

      Public schools are a joke any more. There are so many rules to prevent kids from being taught it is horrid. If a class of 25 has kids who can't keep up they either get swept under the rug, or they get promoted because they attended school, period. In some classes the smarter kids are held back so the slower ones can catch up, then all the kids do poorly in that class. The teachers are often time in a lose lose situation, they have their hands tied because of rules and regulations and then are told if the students don't do well the teachers will be replaced. Most teachers battle parents who don't care what the kids in school, or they are not educated themselves to help with homework. The teachers are very frustrated, and in most states have to teach for fifteen or twenty years before they make a decent wage. So often it is forgotten, these teachers went to school for four or more years and have their educations at the cost of 40 to 50 thousand dollars and wind up paying for it for 10 years or more. I hope the school systems will soon wake up and start to educate our children by there capabilities and not there ages, so many can advance if they are given the chance, but are being held back by those not able to keep up. Kind of like those who work having to pay for those who don't, are we sending the wrong message to our young people, where will we be in the next couple generations? We need to do some serious thing about how we want our schools to operate, are they daycare for the kids who don't like school? if so we need to find a way to teach those who want to learn and find better methods for the ones who hold everyone else back. Too many bad lessons being learned in our public school systems today.

    24. Ken Jarvis - Las Veg says:

      ?"Dictator uses State Police to restrict access."

      What country is that happening in?

      USA – in Wisc – More Freedoms Lost when the


      The GOP have always wanted to CONTROL REPRODUCTION.

    25. Cathy B says:

      The unfunded mandates and teaching to the test were the bad elements of NCLB. Can someone at The Heritage Foundation please inform people that NCLB does not mean that children are automatically promoted to the next level? The whole premise of the law is good; teach children until they have mastered the content and are ready to move to the next grade level. Social promotion actually ended with NCLB. The unintended consequences of the law was a bloated beauracracy. Teachers actually had to start teaching children in special education. This angered lazy teachers!

    26. Jack Krohn, Colorado says:

      close Dept Of Ed at the national level, save some bucks and let states take care of their own education needs.

      better yet do away with public schools as we know them (gov't run monopoly) and use vouchers to get things back on track.

    27. Rock Cramer, Parker says:

      The 17% regulation and compliance bureaucracy burden is almost certainly understated. In any case, it is testimonial to why Governor Walker and Republican legislators in Wisconsin must win in the “recall” elections.

      Another sector of our economy where this regulation and compliance bureaucracy is even worse is healthcare delivery. Not only is productivity hammered by compliance issues, but also cost and pricing relevance is destroyed by “charge masters” that must be inflated by 200% to 400% due to the “DRG” structure imposed by governing bureaucracies.

      What has happened in education and healthcare demonstrates how the tentacles of bureaucracy are most devastating in those sectors where productivity is difficult to measure.

    28. Sara Peters says:

      In all I read about the schools one word never seems to appear. That word is parents. Where is the parents responsibility.

      1 To make sure their child gets enough sleep so they will be ready to learn

      2. To send disciplined children to school so they will not be a disruption in the classroom.

      3. To inquire from the teacher to see if their child needs extra help or to see what they can do to help the teacher in the classroom or other ways.

      4. To make sure their child does his homework every night and gets it back to the school the next day.

      They are other ways the parents can help I just thought I wouls list a few.

      It is not only the teacher who is responsible for teaching the child.

    29. Karen, MA says:

      I've worked in school offices for years. Your article is right on target. People would not believe the time and energy spent on NCLB and RTTT. Add to the the time spent resubmitting things because the DOE keeps changing the requirements, as well as parents demanding IEPs and special treatment for their children…. well, it's not wonder it's so difficult to educate our children. The focus is on just trying to get funding, which then has very strict mandates about how (and with whom) you spend it. Education needs to go back to local and state levels.

    30. Randall Scott says:

      Cell phones have replaced land lines. Email has replaced the US Postal service. Digital videos (Internet movie downloads) have replaced Blockbuster VCR rentals. Internet tutorial software, such as Mathnasium.com, RosettaStone.com, and thousands of others, have replaced Old Fashioned public schools giving parents REAL school-choice and a favorite among Home Schooling and Private Schools as a modern, yet effective academic alternative. You're watching public schools go through their death thores, so step back, defund them, and allow them to take their place in history.

    31. R Holland, Chandler, says:

      Get the federal government out of the education business. Eliminate the Dept of Education. Stop federal student loan programs. Return responsibility for education to the states and local boards. After 40+ years of federal intervention in the education process, the federal government has proven it can't do the job.

    32. Clearhead says:

      Why not spend a portion of that wasted money on a program by the name of

      "U.S. President – 101" ? (Attendance mandatory). The only problem is that there is seemingly no one qualified to teach it since President Reagan's demise.

    33. Virginia Faber Shore says:

      Your analysis is spot on. As a former teacher, a parent and a taxpayer, I can say that more money is not the problem. Motivated students, with a supportive home environment, will learn because they see the reason to do so. There are no shortcuts to learning the basics; no amount of technology, beautiful buildings or advanced degree teachers will supplant a student supplied with clear objectives and a quiet environment in which to study. There are simple, straightforward changes that can be made that cost no more money if our schools showed the backbone to implement them and that society would stop dumping other societal problems into the schools.

    34. Leon Lundquist, Dura says:

      My belief is we should Defund the entire Department of Education. The War on Poverty merely created pernicious poverty, it was a failure then and now. As Americans we must learn how to get out of poverty! In a Free Market and with Free Enterprise Americans all used to know how to get out of poverty! We used to do it several times in our pre Communism American Lives! With our Nanny State (Judge Vinson might say Noblesse Oblige) the People are discouraged from ever learning how to get out of poverty! Thanks to all the Federal Interference in Education our kids don't even know they are Sovereign Citizens at Liberty under God! They don't know the first thing about being an American!

      Gee! We should cut $55 Billion, easy, get rid of the Department of Education. Ask me, the betrayal of our children is some kind of High Crime, and an educational disaster! Good of the People? No good to be seen and God's quantity of harm! Education remains a States Right, and the Race to the Bottom is just like you say! Massive waste of make work and fraud! The Commies created a Junk Liberal Arts Curriculum! That is a Fraud! The Junk Science idea that our kids should be educated for a "Post Industrial Era!" That's perfect nonsense!

      No amount of money will fix American Education! It is designed as a source of Bankruptcy just as good as Obamacare, Junk Medicine, and Junk Science Economics! Thanks, Conn Carroll for such a clear description of what is going on behind the curtain! We are not getting value of service from Government, nor anything the Government touches!

    35. Peter Kendrick Cheye says:

      It seems to me that the best place to start is by abolishing the Department of Education and keeping the money away from the DC apparatus.

    36. GDRN, FL says:

      The Feds destroy everthing that they touch. Control of the schools, and thus the minds of those sent there to be educated, is one of the first objectives of communism and ESEA has done a good job of accomplishing said objective.

    37. P Knudsen, Phoenix says:

      Amen! We have just been throwing money at "the problem" and have solved nothing. States should be able to opt out of the mandated programs and implement what is necessary to improve education at the local level. A first step will have to be getting rid of the teacher unions so schools can get rid of poor teachers. I write as a former educator and implementer of many of these federal programs. The answer to these program is not more money, it is local control.

    38. Dr. Henry Sinopoli says:

      There is no mention in the Constitution pertaining to education. The Founding Fathers were intelligent to understand that any central control of education would be bad for the country. The Federal Government has creeped into the arena by using control of money and nebulous legal issues to force local communities to accept mandates.

      Barry & Michele (the bell), while sending their two little charges to a very expensive private school, dictate to parents forced to live with tenure induced instructors, dumbed down curriculum, and progressive nonsense. The only bully on the block is the Federal Government….

      The public school system is broken. It cannot be fixed. Of course, like health care, life-long politicians, Republican & Democrat, now that they have some control, will never totally return control to the states.

      Abolish the Federal Department of Education and watch the lifers in Congress scream…

    39. David Bess, Carson C says:

      I need some help. After spending some time reviewing the Constitution, I have found no mention of the federal government being empowered to control education. I did find that all powers not specified in the constitution as federal powers we given to the states and the people.

      Being in a position where I hire employees, many of these straight out of high school I have noticed that the kids are not nearly as well prepared as they were 30 years ago. This is a tragedy for the future of our nation, not to mention the children that we are supposedly educating.

      The states, counties, and cities should have 100% of the power to say where money is used, how they teach, and the goal of the educational system.

      There are so many good teachers, principals and school administrators in our local schools that are being han-strung by the federal requirements and controls. We need to free these folks up to do their jobs rather without confrounting federal red tape at every turn.

    40. Phebe Pecs says:

      I desired to forward this to friends and fellows – it's helpful info – but the links do not work. Can you fix that? (I tried going to your "online" version of this email, but met with the same result.)

      It's such a serious problem. I do what I can to expand awareness of both the problems and the solutions for our educational system – sharing your article is my little bit of help – since I don't have much money to donate, writing about these issues, and sharing, is the best I can do, after voting.

      Return education and authority over it to the parents ,the municipalities and the states,

    41. John Arizona says:

      Has anyone looked at the amount of spending on education in the past twenty years and the resultant increase in either test scores or any other measure of the excellence in education? The comparison will show that the country has thrown millions of dollars to education, for little or no benefit in test scores. It will show that the union leaders are smiling a lot broader.

      Any and every person running for a public office ALWAYS makes the same campaign promise – "we need to spend more on education!!" It's kinda like "Mom and apple pie are good things!" No one wants to argue the point. When will anyone in any goverrnment position have the cohones to say "Stop!"? None that want to get re-elected, for sure.

    42. Doug Whaley, Lake Ha says:

      One of the best things that could happen to this country would be the elimination of the Federal Department of Education. There is a direct correlation between when this department was put in place, the increase in the amount of money thrown at education and the decrease in our ranking versus the rest of the world in the results of the federal government efforts.

      States and local school districts should have total control over all education decisions and funding. No mandates from the federal government should be allowed period.

      Federal involvement in education is a prime example of how the federal government just can't get it right on almost everything they do.

    43. Glynnda White, Orlan says:

      If we really want to reform education, we should put money in an account for each child born. Feds, states, local and parents all help to fund it. The parents are responsible for finding and getting their kids to school. The money is funded annually until the child finishes HS/Trade School or HS/College. Then the account turns to a retirement account. Same concept.

      Once the money is in the account, the government never gets to touch it again. They monitor spending, just like an HSA account to ensure that the child is getting educated. The schools are held to a basic standard of learning measurement……THE END of government interference in our school system….and they are able to practice their "stated" goal of being concerned about our children's education. All children are funded equally except by parents who must put in a minimum amount for each child ……if they can't afford, they shouldn't have children……or get a second job…..this will promote responsible parenting, promote stability in the family and get the government one step out of our business.

    44. Laurie H. Rogers says:

      This article is excellent — thoughtful and clear-headed. I appreciate it.

      Laurie H. Rogers

      Author of "Betrayed: How the Education Establishment Has Betrayed America and What You Can Do about it"

      and "Betrayed" – a blog on education

    45. Jeanne Stotler,Woodb says:

      "Too many cooks spoil the broth" that's what is going on in D.C. Now let us go back to states controlling the schools. As far as educating handicapped and mentally retarded, this was started in the 50's but prior to that there were schools, mostly private. My aunt was born 1910 and at age 5 contracted measles which caused enchephelitis, she was sent to a private school ehere she learned as much as she could. My son was in public schools and learned a lot. States can and will continue to offer education to all , just keep the Federal Gov't. out, then and only then will cost go down.

    46. Henry , Illinois says:

      Is it any wonder as to what the community organizer is doing? he apparently is listening to the guy that he appointed to head the Department of Education( that should be abolished, for it serves absolutely NO purpose other than waste tax monies ),arne duncan,just look what this clown has done to the Chicago public schools when he was in charge there!!!!!

    47. Ben C. Ann Arbor, MI says:

      Unlike some who post in this blog I have an eight year old daughter who is living the consequences of NCLB. She has three classmates who interfere with her learning every day with constant disruption requiring her (excellent) teacher to be a chaos controller. Rather than teaching, she spends the day trying to maintain order in the classroom. None of the three students have been diagnosed with ADD or similar conditions so they are kept in the classroom to "reduce to the achievement gap." The silver lining to this cloud is that I will be running for the school board the next election cycle. Ann Arbor is a very liberal town so I doubt I will win but at least I will get people thinking about the results of federal intervention in education. There is an advantage to being an older dad – I know first hand how it used to be prior to 1965.

    48. KC - New Mexico says:

      As a parent, ex-teacher, board member, I suggest that we get rid of the Dept of Education, get rid of the teachers unions and fire the poor producing teachers. Cut the ineffective spending and paper producing regulations. There are huge wastes of time and money today in the current public school process. NCLB is okay – at least we have one President (G. Bush) that wanted to improve our broken public education system. It can be improved but at least it is a start.

      Put the responsibility of education on the states, get rid of the special interest issues, discipline the students and take action on those student and parents who do not want to be taught. Finally – raise the standards needed to progress from one grade to the next and raise the graduation standards. If the student can’t make it, then send them to vocational school. Provide individual educational help for those with disabilities so that they have an opportunity to work in the community.

      This is not a political issue – it is a survival issue and so far, we are losing!

    49. mike hutchings says:

      i have an idea…would it be possible for the local teachers to set the programs…. and would it be possible to end the dictatorial rule so far away from the ground… the situation is in flux because the schools are power bases and social platforms to not educate but indoctrinate….and what a fine joke it is that they care so much for…common people. the only thing they want for us….is to shut up and somehow cease to exist….the human stain you see….thank you very much for the equality of the new world…where everyone will be just as poor and ignorant…thank you education department…your subjects are more than capable of flipping hamburgers on the way to a green world…p.s..ride your bike for a more orderly, controlled planet.

    50. Yellowbird says:

      Until unions are removed from the chain, we will continue to have a decaying educational system. It certainly appears that die hard democrats must go with them.

    51. Bobbie says:

      stop the programs! stop the money! Children have minds of their own and with qualified teachers, government programs are a disgrace to include as feds set the curriculum to advance Obama's agenda at unlimited, needless wastes of money developing unknown potentials?

      Only a rotten piece, would steal money from those he hates to use against those he hates, while those he hates are unaware, naive, or gullible of his hatred.

      I refer to many but one specifically using words of hatred, happy to take from the white man, while indoctrinating hatred of the white man. It's gone far.

      Government officials, Black panthers, Black caucus easily convinced by the mind set of hatred for the white man, wasting time LOOKING TO BE OFFENDED! When the white man has been doing everything to help but nothing is good enough for the pathetic. how weak…

      and if van jones can be doing this from hrs to years, with who knows how big of an audience, who knows what our children are being indoctrinated into?

      Educating truth and facts is beneficial to all. We don't want our hard earned money going into the hatred of anyone… please get the feds and their curriculum out.

      Children are failing basic standard education as public schools focus is victimizing and socializing. We see the effects.

      The mind is a terrible thing to waste, use dollars efficiently. BE WISE! PRIVATIZE!

      Mr. Ken Jarvis:

      How does HF suggest

      kids with – Leaning Disabilities – get educated?

      Seems like – OnLine Learning would be Perfect for them.

      What do you mean kids with learning disabilities? Be specific please…

    52. Michael Guy, Canonsb says:

      I have taught in a city school, in which 5 Biology classes were required to share the books under the chairs, The students, most of whom were minority, were not allowed to receive pronted handouts because there was a paper ration. This city spent about $13,000 per capita and was run by a Democratic Mayor, County Council, state Governor. Such is the legacy of the NEA and the State and federal Departments of Education, They have failed. They can not get our students to be able to compete in science and math against third world students who live in mud huts. If you give these liberal and progressive bureaucrats more money it will be spent on lucrative salaries and benefits, bigger carsm better furniture and , of course, better stadiums for male team sports.

    53. Richard Ahern says:


      Richard Ahdern-Vice President

    54. CJ - Arizona says:

      Why is there no mention of the fact that NCLB was signed into law by George W. Bush and became effective on July 1, 2002?


    55. Wayne, Louisiana says:

      The important aspects of a good Education are being bypassed for political power. A good committed and caring Educational staff accomplishes more than money being poured down a drain. There may be many services that this country cannot continue to fund. Busing, Food Service and child care are indirect benefits to the Education environment but are directly effective in the arena of Educational excellence. A larger Federal bureaucracy is not an answer to the schools dilemma. Some money that could be saved can be redirected to educational support services, such as teacher aids or assistant teachers. Our educational system should bolster the positive caring aspects of learning and not just throw bad money at a bad system.

    56. June says:

      NCLB AND NEA should both be dismantled, completely- -get rid of the communist/ marxist/socialist influence on our children and let every state and district manage and co-ordinate their own education systems! GET THE FED OUT OF OUR CHILDRENS' LIVES!

    57. David Creighton, Fre says:

      We just outspent our revenue in February by 223 billion dollars, and the Democrats are yelling that conservatives are ruining the education system by cutting the budget by 10 billion. Has anyone noticed that since the federal government has become involved in education, eductaion has gotten worse, not better. We spend more per student than almost any other country, and the results keep getting worse. It's not the money that makes the difference. I know I'm old, and not with it, but my grammar school was K-8. We had 9 teachers, a Principal, secretary to the principal, janitor, a cook and 2 helpers. Amazingly, we got educated, completed high school, and 65% of us completed college. During that period we had an influx of immigrants following WWII, many spoke no English, and we the students taught them. There was no English as a second language instrutos. The cost of education has risen dramatically faster than inflation, particularly in the colleges. There are many more administrators and specialists than we used to have, and I can't say that they have made education better. I was on a local community college school board for 13 years, and saw how local control was eroded once Proposition 13 passed and the state took control. A lot more bureaucracy and paper work that had nothing to do with the educational process, and the cost per student started rising.

    58. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      In 1981, the Reagan Education Department released a report called A NATION AT RISK. The report, released by Terrell Bell, concluded that our educational system wouldn't have suffered anymore then than under a foreign occupation.

    59. Donald Rutledge TN says:

      There’s some interesting arithmetic involved in this whole thing. Those 7 million hours of paperwork at a cost of $141 million dollars works out to $20.14 per hour. Multiply that by 2080 hours (40 hours/week for 52 weeks) gives you a $41,891 a year government job. Doing a little additional ciphering will reveal that you’re talking about 3,365 government employees. That’s pretty good pay for doing nothing but shuffling paper while feeding off the government teat.

    60. Bobo, California says:

      Very interesting article and comments. Seems like only Bill recalls that NCLB was a Bush program. What Bill was too nice to point out was that Mr. Bush failed to fund the program enough to be successful. He had to use the money to pay for his war in Iraq. Seems like Cathy B has a handle on the program itself compared to other comments. I must respect those who work in the education field and have made comments on the abundance of paperwork.

      I do wonder if any of the commentors or even Mr. Carroll listened to the president or read his speech. Most of Mr. Caroll's comments are stats and of course opinions. Blaming things on LBJ 45 years ago seems absurd to me at this point. That was a long time ago. Saying that President Obama "has made it worse because 41 states tried to persuade bureaucrats to give their states Race to the Top stimulus money" seems silly. How did he make it worse? Race to the top was created to give more funding to states whose schools that perform. That's good old American competition and rewards for doing well right?

      The reality of what his speech was about was he challenged congress to overhaul to the Bush-era education policy "No Child Left Behind". Mr. Obama pledged his commitment to incentivizing improvement in schools, and announced the administration's decision to let local school districts apply to "Race to the Top" – a federal competition designed to reward states for major improvements in education.

      Let's look at some quotes from President Obama's speech:

      "The best economic policy is one that produces more college graduates,"

      "We need to make sure we're graduating students who are ready for college and ready for careers."

      "We have to reform 'No Child Left Behind,'" he said, arguing that "the [program's] goals… were the right goals," but that the methodology of the legislation was not effective in actually producing them.

      Is this a President that should be demonized for wanting to reform the NCLB? I think not.

      46 states are suffering budget crises right now and most are looking to cut funding for our schools. How can the states do this themselves without federal funding?

      I grew up in California and our schools have gone from "first to worst". That dang liberal Governor Brown wants to cut school funding that could turn my kids classrooms from 22 to 30 children per class. That is not good. So why not reform? Let's fix the system not eliminate it.

      Thanks for your time!

    61. RD, Oregon says:

      Look at the track record of NCLB. Just think what Obama Care will be like, given it is the same bureaucracy that will implement it. DISASTER LOOMS!

    62. Gary Gustafson, Mn. says:

      No one wants to end public education! Bring the power back into the hands of the people closest to the children! Local school boards given unfettered, unencumbered, control of curriculum and funds to accomplish the daunting task of teaching our children how (not what) to think, and a desire to learn for the rest of their lives.

    63. Victor, Chicago says:

      To Phebe Pecs on sharing this link: I discovered a box near the beginning of the article that says: Share This. When I moved my cursor on it, a menu appeared with a number of ways to share the article, including "E-Mail." I clicked that icon and a template appeared with lines to type the e-mail address to send the link to, and a box to add a comment.

    64. Oscar says:

      Hire "The Nanny" she can figure it out!!

      Throwing more money at the problem is not the solution….

    65. Richard Ahern says:

      Competition sets higher standards: This is good for state schools. However, that state schools have the incentives to strive to reach those higher standards is doubtful. Lack of incentives to provide good education is their current problem, it is flaw in socialized education. If state schools cannot compete in open competition with private ones, then they should not survive. Anyway, don't state schools always whine about class size? More private education is an opportunity for state schools to have smaller class size at no cost. The answer: Vouchers for parents'

      Waste Watchers Inc

      P.O.BOX 7085

      Fremont, California 94537

      Richard Ahern-Vice President

      (510) 791-7964

      (510) 673-2249-Cell

    66. Bobbie says:

      Bobo, you go by words and words alone when actions speak much louder.

    67. Bobbie says:

      …when it comes to the President, who refuses to support the schools that "work" without feds. And why the bribe to "race to the top?" Why should challenges in the area of education, cost a dime?

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    69. Greg Winters / Norma says:

      It's nice to be educated about how poorly our federal government does in working with education. Sounds like it's past time for this issue to be handled at state levels. I would rather our school administrators spend more time on helping the kids than filling out "pain in the rear" paperwork. I love the comment of how "George Bush" brought this into law. Maybe so, but as the article points out it was first started long before then. He may have tried to start it up again, but conservatives didn't like everything he did and this was one of them.. The point is federal government has not really improved education and has turnned into another way just soak up more tax dollars. Let local public and private schools take care of our kids. Keep up the good work Heritage.

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    72. Randy J, SLC Utah says:

      The first step needs to be understanding how we got into the mess.

      The 14th amendment that puts debt as the supreme law of the land (i.e debts issued can be questioned in any court"…) has "reversed and annulled the policy of the original constitution" said the US supreme court.

      Every debt based bloated government in the history of the world is in various phases of committing suicide. They all fail. Every paper currency in the history of the world fails.

      The solution is A) supply side and B) demand side.


      A balanced budget amendment or returning to a system of states directly funding the feds, not the feds funding the states should both work.


      On the demand side, the only real solution is to remove the ability of people to vote themselves a pay raise from their neighbor's wallet. Overcoming covetousness is role of families and faiths. If they fail, government must set up in a way to limit man's covetousness.

      The only lasting solution is to remove the power to vote from those that would be tempted to vote themselves a pay-raise at an others expense.

      Therefore, if some one is drawing public welfare, can't put a roof over thier head, food on thier own table and live within thier means, what on earth are they doing voting to begin with?? Conversely, term limits /service limits for all elected officials, judges and high level bureaucrats are essential to limiting the other kind of greed in government.

      Towards those ends, school vouchers / freedom of choice in choosing a school and eliminating the federal role in education is a HUGE step in a sustainable direction.

      It used to be in America you had to own land before you could vote. Its time to return to that common sense basis for voting to stop socialism from destroying America the way it has every other country (Argentina, Cuba, Eastern Europe, etc.)

      Seriously, why are welfare recipients allowed to vote themselves pay raises from your wallet? Its truly insane. Conversely, why are executives from major corporation allowed to run agencies that oversee themselves? That's even more insane.

      1) Balanced budget amendment / States to supply ALL federal budgets.

      2) Term limits on ALL government officers / conflicts of interest.

      3) NO vote given to welfare recipients.

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