Scholars react to President Obama’s 2013 State of the Union Speech Part 1 National Education Standards: Greater Federal Control of the Classroom

State of the Union 2013

Published on Feb 13, 2013

Cato Institute scholars Michael Tanner, Alex Nowrasteh, Julian Sanchez, Simon Lester, John Samples, Pat Michaels, Jagadeesh Gokhale, Michael F. Cannon, Jim Harper, Malou Innocent, Juan Carlos Hidalgo, Ilya Shapiro, Trevor Burrus and Neal McCluskey respond to President Obama’s 2013 State of the Union Address.

Video produced by Caleb O. Brown, Austin Bragg and Lester Romero.

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In the past I have written the White House on several issues such as abortion, medicare, welfare,  Greece, healthcare, and what the founding fathers had to say about welfare programs,   and have got several responses from the White House concerning issues such as Obamacare, Social Security, welfare,  and excessive government spending

Today I am taking a look at the response of the scholars of the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute scholars to the 2013 State of the Union Address.

What is wrong with education today? The parents need to have parental control. Too many times in the past we have allowed the federal government to come in here in the last 40 years and try to improve our local education and it has never raised our test grades one bit. If we really wanted to raise our test grades dramatically then we would put in the voucher system and allow the parents the choose any school they wanted to go to. That would truly bring the free market into the situation. President Obama in his State of the Union speech talked about given every student opportunities but he didn’t mean school vouchers. I wish he did.

How good have the public schools doing keeping down costs? Lindsey Burke of the Heritage Foundation noted:

The Friedman report, authored by Ben Scafidi, PhD, takes an even longer look, demonstrating that since 1950, public school enrollment has increased 96 percent, while the number of teachers has increased 252 percent and the number of non-teaching personnel (administrators and other staff) has increased an astonishing 702 percent. “Put differently,” Scafidi notes, “the rise in non-teaching staff was more than seven times faster than the increase in students”:

 

Amy Payne

February 13, 2013 at 8:22 am

National Education Standards: Greater Federal Control of the Classroom

“We need to give every American student opportunities like this. Four years ago, we started Race to the Top – a competition that convinced almost every state to develop smarter curricula and higher standards.”

What the President was talking about was Common Core national education standards. Since coming to Washington, the Obama Administration has been using federal dollars to “convince” states to agree to adopting national education standards. Not only is this a massive federal overreach into the nation’s classrooms, but there are various other reasons states should be concerned about these federally backed standards.  The standards are costly. Researchers project that it could amount to a total of $16 billion for states to implement the standards. Additionally, experts have expressed concern about the mediocre quality of the standards. Some states, like Massachusetts, have even been forced to “dumb down” their curriculum.

Instead of a federal takeover of curriculum, states need greater flexibility to implement the reforms they decide are best. Rather than serving the needs of Washington, schools should have the freedom to help children succeed.

Rachel Sheffield, research associate, DeVos Center for Religion & Civil Society

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