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  • Washington's Role in Education Made Simple

    Confused about the federal role in education? A simple analogy will help.

    This new Heritage video tells the story of Steve, the president of the local homeowners’ association. Steve decides to centralize the yard care decisions for the entire neighborhood to achieve uniformity. Unfortunately, not all lawns are the same.

    Soon, the landscaping companies are answering directly to Steve, not the homeowners. Any plan Steve devises becomes the rule, and homeowners are forced to try to keep up with endless new regulations.

    Sound familiar? America’s public school system is facing the same problem of over-regulation from the federal government. Washington’s top-down education rules take decision-making power away from those who know the most about their schools’ needs: states, local leaders, and parents.

    Today, there are more than 151 federal education programs across multiple agencies controlling everything from teacher qualifications to cafeteria food.

    Just like Steve’s neighborhood, our public schools are suffering from rising costs, red tape, and lots of ill-advised programs. Every school has different needs, and one-size-fits-all education determined by a centralized bureaucracy does more harm than good.

    It’s time to reduce the federal role in education. How will the story end?

    Rebekah Sherman is currently a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation. For more information on interning at Heritage, please visit: http://www.heritage.org/about/departments/ylp.cfm.

    Posted in Education [slideshow_deploy]

    4 Responses to Washington's Role in Education Made Simple

    1. michael a says:

      This would make perfect sense if I didn't have to worry about homophobic superstitious zealots that wanted to teach the science of bronze age goat herders in public schools. I'll pay a little extra for that piece of mind.

      • Philo-Publius says:


        Confronting what you identify as a "worry" with a broken system that drowns it out with many programs that could be better is much easier than challenging the worry yourself. After all, it would be tough to out-debate bronze age goat herders.

        At least the dropouts, struggling students, and failing school systems can collectively draw a reassuring breath knowing that you have a little "piece" of mind (or did you mean [peace] of mind?) and that they are the full return on you investment.


      • DrCruel says:

        And who will guarantee that evengelical socialist fanatics won't try to teach the science of Left fascist totalitarians in the public schools? Or is pushing an unsupportable minority view based on Marxist feudalism over the objections of the majority exactly the point?

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