Monday, August 14, 2006

National Conformity

As Congress considers the reauthorization of NCLB, Jeb Bush and Michael R. Bloomberg want states that receive federal money to conform to a national standards,

Make standards meaningful. Ensure that every state sets a high standard for proficiency. The existing law left room for states to define proficiency levels, and some have dumbed them down to create the illusion of progress. We need a uniform measuring stick.

The well-respected National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), which is administered in every state, should become an official benchmark for evaluating states' standards. States that accept federal money without maintaining NAEP standards should be required to bring their standards into line. We believe in the role of sovereign states in our federalist system, but we also believe it is in our national interest to raise standards and expectations.

To translate, we believe in the role of sovereign states but since you're too stupid to know what's in your best interest we have to tell you. After all, what's in the national interest is really in your best interest, even though you really don't know it yet.

(And then Jeb "high fives" his brother George and whispers, "Boy this dumbing down stuff is working out really well, don't you think? People are too stupid to understand that the Constitution gives the federal government no role in education. But all we have to do it tell them its "for the children" and they'll tolerate anything.)

Could it be any clearer why homeschoolers and private schools taking government money in the form of vouchers or virtual charter schools is a VERY bad idea? Conforming to a government standard of proficiency is not why I educate my children. Their goals are NOT my goals.

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