Friday, January 6, 2012
No Child Left Behind: "A Decade of Failure": Enough Said But Wait
In 1995 basically right after the brand new Republican Congress the first one since 1953, came to power. The House and Senate with Bi Partisan Support, passed a law that would outlaw Unfunded Mandates. What are Unfunded Mandates you might ask, they are Mandates passed down from the Federal Government. To the State and Local Governments, without paying for them, telling them you have to do this. Whatever this is without paying for it, Special Education and Medicaid. Are perfect examples of Unfunded Mandates, because Congress has failed to fund their own laws. The Federal Government's portion of those laws and by law the States and Locals have to make up the difference anyway. Thats what Unfunded Mandates are and a reason why I want to take Medicaid which is Health Insurance for Low Income people. Low Income workers and Unemployed Workers, off of the Federal and State Budgets all together. And transform it into a Independent Non Profit Health Insurer, with each State having their own version of Medicaid. That would have to meet basic Federal Standards, just not longer run by the Feds and States. Make Medicaid Self Sufficient and Self Financed but Medicaid is for a different blog. I just laid out the main problem with the 2001 No Child Left Behind Law, an example of what can happen. When Bi Partisanship goes wrong, because it combines the ideas from two different sides. But instead of combining what would work together, it just basically slapped ideas together.
The Late Sen. Paul Wellstone a Progressive Democrat from Minnesota, who I have a lot of respect for. But who I agreed with about maybe 20% of the time if that, but mostly only Social Issues. Was one of the most honest Members of Congress, sorta the Dennis Kucinich or Ron Paul of the Senate. Voted against NCLB, not because it didn't spend enough or it didn't try to take over the Public Education System in America. But because it was an Unfunded Mandate, he voted against it for Common Sense reasons. He knew Congress would never fund the Federal Mandates in NCLB. Should the Federal Government have a role in Public Education, sure because a well Educated Workforce. Is a National Priority but it should be limited, we don't even need a US Education Department. We should pass a lot of those resources and powers down to the States. Combine what's left of the USED with the Human Services Department and have a National Director for Education Policy. In the White House who would serve as the Presidents Chief Adviser for Education Policy.
The Federal Government when it comes to Education Policy, should be there to make sure Constitutional and Civil Rights are enforced. It should be there for research, this is what works, this is what doesn't work. Pass that information on down to the States and Locals and help Under Served Communities fund their Public Schools. Be there to help make up the difference and let the States and Locals do the rest. As long as they are within the US Constitution.