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Feducrats in the schoolhouse. (Insider Report).

"It's a new era in education and we want you, as parents and community members, to be part of the transformation." So states the greeting at the "No Child Left Behind" (NCLB) website of the U.S. Department of Education. What transformation do the benevolent federal educrats want us to be part of? The radical transformation under way with the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, the Republican version of Bill and Hillary Clinton's womb-to-tomb Fed-Ed program. Throughout 2002, U.S. Education Secretary Rod Paige has been traveling the country on an official "No Child Left Behind" tour, selling the benefits of the new federal-state-local education "partnership." Gone is any mention that the federal government has no constitutional authority to be involved in education matters. And Republicans who once demanded abolishing the Department of Education, a legacy of President Jimmy Carter and the ultra-left National Education Association, now applaud the centralization under a GOP regime.

The December 1, 2002 issue of The Achiever, a Department of Education newsletter, informs us that one of the aims of the NCLB legislation is to increase teacher quality. It says that "the Improving Teacher Quality State Grants program aims to increase student achievement by elevating teacher and principal quality through recruitment, hiring, and teaching strategies." The Achiever states:

"Under the law, each state education agency must have developed a plan to ensure that all teachers are highly qualified by the end of the 2005-06 school year. The plan must establish annual, measurable objectives for each local school district and school to ensure that they meet the 'highly qualified' requirement." (Emphasis added.) It further asserts that "the teacher quality program also requires that teacher training activities be based on scientific research, and states must explain how such training activities are expected to improve student achievement." (Emphasis added.)

The NCLB legislation and its implementation directives from Washington are filled with compulsion verbs: will, must, shall, require. Yet the new compulsion is cloaked in rhetoric of "flexibility" and "local control." A press release issued by Secretary Paige during his national tour is typical. It states: "Under the law, which President Bush signed in January [2002], states and school districts will develop strong systems of accountability based upon student performance." (Emphasis added.) The next sentence goes on to say: "The new law also gives states and school districts increased local control and flexibility, removing federal red tape and bureaucracy and putting decision making in the hands of those at the local and state levels." In other words: You will jump through our federal hoops, but we will allow you some latitude as to how you do it--for now.
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Publication:The New American
Date:Jan 13, 2003
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