To the editor:
The Obama Administration is intent on nationalizing the content taught in every public school across America. National standards have become a federally incentivized enterprise with the goal of total centralization and control of education. This push to nationalize standards and testing is costly. Those of us who believe in limited government and liberty should push to control content taught in our schools by opposing the imposition of national standards and tests in Pennsylvania.
Obama's Race to the Top (don't they give them wonderful-sounding names?) grants are conditioned in part on the adoption of common standards. Adopting such standards and accepting this money surrenders control of the content taught in our local schools to bureaucrats in Washington influenced by lobbyists. It is exactly the opposite of the return to our Constitution which placed control of education in the hands of those closest to the students-local school leaders and parents. That constitutional authority for education rests with the states and local governments and ultimately with the parents - not the federal government. Wouldn't you rather see accountability to parents and taxpayers instead of forcing schools to demonstrate compliance with demands of Washington, D.C.?
There are significant costs to states to implement the Obama standards and assessments. States really need to reverse course and regain control over the content taught in our local schools. Federal mandates passed through the states and local school boards are exceedingly costly. Our current school board is wrestling with balancing a budget with a million dollar deficit.
People recently demonstrated and made their views known to the board of their displeasure. These people are really "preaching to the choir" as they say. People truly need to tell our state and, particularly, federal elected officials that these mandates need to be reduced. If local school boards had fewer federal mandates, costs can be better controlled and budgets balanced without significant tax increases.