ObamaCore—the New Nationalized Education Agenda
In a case that has nationwide implications, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has sued the federal government, claiming that the Department of Education is violating the Constitution and federal law by coercing states to adopt the “Common Core” standards being pushed by the Education Department. If states don’t adopt the Common Core, vast amounts of federal funding could be at risk. This is especially relevant to Virginia as one of only 5 states to not accept these standards.
The Constitution gives no authority to the federal government to regulate education, but that landscape is changing by underhanded funding strategies designed to short change states that won’t fall in line. Earlier this year, the Cato Institute predicted of the Common Core that, “the end game is almost certainly complete federal control by connecting national standards and tests to annual federal funding”.
Federal control of education is a nightmare waiting to happen. Maintaining local control of schools will become even more difficult as decisions filter down through an out-of-touch federal bureaucracy (and, in the case of the Department of Education, an entirely un-elected one)! Teachers will have to waste precious time making sure their teaching styles match up with ObamaCore mandates. Students will be shoehorned into one size fits all education plans that are designed to teach to the average. ObamaCore mandates are the Department of Education's version of ObamaCare mandates -- and the outcomes will be similar.
Bureaucrats insist the solution to academic decline is a uniform plan of indoctrination While some might argue that such standards could implement a degree of accountability, in reality what Common Core does is something far more perilous: It further centralizes the ability to craft and implement educational curriculum.
What is the antidote to this approach? Protecting local control, right down to protecting the right of parents themselves to get involved in their kid’s education. Virginia must maintain the ability to guard and direct our own education programs. Local schools, public or private, need to have as much flexibility as possible in figuring out what works best for them. Teachers shouldn’t be stuck with busywork diktats from Washington. And ultimately, parents should be able to shop for the school or schooling method that fits THEIR child, instead of being compelled to submit to a system that will ultimately make every school look exactly the same, regardless of the needs of the kids that attend.