The “Heritage Foundation” makes a few good points in an article, Education Reform Lesson One: Review Past Mistakes which reports on comments made by Heritage’s education experts during testimony before a House subcommittee. We have pasted some of the more interesting quotes below, but you may read the full article Here.
- The proliferation of federal programs and prescriptions created a confusing regulatory maze.
“Even the GAO [Government Accountability Office] has had a hard time counting up all the education programs,” Marshall told the subcommittee. “Using a narrow definition, GAO determined in 2010 that there were 151 K-12 and early childhood education programs in 20 federal agencies, totaling $55.6 billion annually.”
- Administrative set-asides and red tape dilute how much taxpayer money reaches the classroom after multiple layers of bureaucracy.
Marshall noted that school officials in Fairfax County, Va., devoted a day to train personnel on requirements of the law known as No Child Left Behind. For what they spent coaching 14,000 teachers and 1,000 administrators on how to fall in line with Uncle Sam, they could have hired and paid 86 instructors for a year.
- State bureaucracies keep growing to comply with federal programs, creating a “client mentality” that undermines accountability to parents and other taxpayers.
“Accountability is important, but accountability to whom and for what?” Marshall asked the panel, chaired by Rep. Duncan D. Hunter (R-CA). “The status quo focuses on fine-tuned, aggregate calculations that are most useful for bureaucrats to chart the progress of a school, district or state so they can apply federal carrots and sticks.”