Wednesday, April 20, 2005

When Your Rhetoric Comes Back to Bite You

From the Times.

When Utah is rejecting No Child Left Behind, you know that the Bush administration has lost on this one. At least since 1994, the Republicans have hypocritically talked a big talk about smaller government while in fact just wanting to change the focus of big government to allow for no taxes but great control over people's everyday lives. Of course this has been especially obvious to many of us since 9/11. And now the Bush administration is starting to feel the backlash to their lip service to small government. States all over the nation are seeing that No Child Left Behind is a disaster. One of the impacts of this is that people in conservative states such as Utah who bought into the Republican small government rhetoric are starting to see how hollow that was.

I'm not sure how I feel about the role of the federal government in education standards at this point. I used to believe that local control of school boards and state control over educating their students led to all kinds of problems, from poor systems in poor states to the embracing of creationism over Darwinism. But given that Americans seem to have a capacity to elect a government of great evil, maybe state control is better. At least then, states like Massachusetts, Washington, and Wisconsin can create quality education systems for their students. Under No Child Left Behind, no state will be producing large numbers of highly educated adults.