school.pngHave you read the U.S. Constitution lately?  Our government officials still pay lip service to the document, but they do not regard it seriously.  Why should they?  Do we?   If you say yes to that, then I have a little matching exercise for you.  Take the budget items from this website,, and see if you can find where the spending is authorized in the U.S. Constitution.   I expect the first three items in the list will baffle you.  For example, where does the Constitution authorize the Federal Government to set up Social Security (pensions), Medicare (health care for seniors), or to take over the administration of our nation’s education system?

Because our government officials cannot control their proclivity to tax and spend, even the Red Chinese are annoyed with us. 

To be sure, other countries have carried larger debt burdens without suffering the market’s wrath. Japan, for example, has a net public debt that exceeds 100% of GDP. One thing that makes the U.S. different, though, is its heavy dependence on borrowing from foreign investors, such as China. As Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao noted last year with characteristic understatement, those investors are getting “a little worried.”  (from here)

Yet the Chinese still buy our treasury bonds.  Why?  They are not doing us a favor.  Read Why The Dollar Won’t Crash In The Near Future

So what has all that to do with education?  Consider these factors.

  • In Virginia, we have four different levels of bureaucracy “managing” our public education system.  The Federal Government, the Virginia Commonwealth, and county governments each contribute — with strings well attached — to education funding.  Elected School Boards officials direct the fourth level of bureaucracy; they select and direct school adminstrative personnel and approve school budgets.
  • Using their own financial resources and time, parents must pay to educate their children themselves.  Otherwise, they must send their children to public schools.   In either event, parents must pay taxes to support the public school system.  Thus, only the children of relatively well-to-do or very resolute can avoid the public school system.
  • Our leaders do not listen to us.  For example, how many people want to put Federal Government bureaucrats in charge of their health care?  Nonetheless, our elected officials seem determined to take charge of our health care — whether we want them in charge or not.  
  • We cannot trust politicians to run the public school system without bias.  For example, when politicians make decisions on educational content, we can expect that they will do so under the influence of special interests groups. 

So what is the latest news.  The Federal Government — minus any constitutional authority — continues to expand its role in the public education system.  Altogether, in 2010 we can expect the Federal Government to provide almost 12 percent of the estimated 643 billion dollars that Federal, State, and Local government will spend on pre-primary thru secondary education education.  Moreover, we can expect the Federal Government will twist the arms of State and Local governments.  Either comply with Federal mandates or no Federal money.

What is the latest in Federal mandates?  The Federal Government wants more control of educational content.  Consider this post at the PWC Education Reform Blog, What Will Happen to the SOLs in Virginia?

Who should control educational content, government officials or parents?  You say parents? 

  • Then how does putting the Federal Government in charge of educational content give parents more control? 
  • Do you like reading bureaucratic gobbleygoop?   Is that not the form of bureaucratic standards?
  • What form of character education do you think a Democratic Party administration will emphasize?
  • Can we trust politicians to teach family values, ethics, religion, history and provide children proper instruction in their civic responsibilities?

Why are we allowing this idiot nonsense?  Why would the citizens of a federal republic founded on freedom of religion and the rights to life, liberty and private property want to put the central government in charge of educating their children?


  1. The public schools have it all backwards, and national testing and common standards are only going to make it worse.

    Private schools have to be accountable to their students parents, because if the parents are unhappy they take their kids and their tuition dollars. The satisfaction of the parents drive the instructional programs.

    With public education, the schools get paid whether parents happy or not. The only institution that can threaten the public schools funding is the state if the school underperforms on state assessments. So the public schools are accountable to the state, not the parents.

    Nationalizing that will only make the disconnect more pronounced. Schools will be accountable to the national standards and assessment boards as opposed to the state standards and assessment boards. Parents, and their satisfaction with how their children are educated, will be even more irrelevant than they are now.

    To fix the problems we need to give control back to the parents. Let us take our education dollars and find a school that we support and believe gives our kids the education they deserve.


    1. EJ – Have we abandoned the Constitution? Not entirely.

      You sound angry. Why does it disturb you that I advocate Constitutional government? What would you have replace the Constitution? Do you dream of pure unfettered, majority rule? Do you understand that that would lead to the most tyranical sort of government?

      When a majority of the People rule without restraint, that People rules as a mob rules. Someone always becomes the instrument of the People’s will, and that someone always promises to restore order. And eventually that someone seeks to bend the People to his will.

      Thus, it is because the People accept the constraints imposed by the Constitution — and still to some extent insist that their leaders do the same — that we still have civil rights. Will we still have those same civil rights next year? Five years from now? I don’t know.


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