Friday, January 7, 2011

Ed Reform 2011: NCLB Out and Parental Rights In?

Obama and Duncan want to increase federal influence over local schools, particularly around standards, teacher evaluation and pay. However, with Republicans now in the majority and strong anti-government momentum, they will face a tough battle. Some observers believe that even No Child Left Behind (NCLB) may be on its way out, along with Race to the Top (RTTT).

While most teachers and education experts would applaud the demise of NCLB, the new Ed Deform agenda of the Republicans is just as heinous, with a strong emphasis on “parental rights” and home schooling and the backing of Tea Party activists and legislators.

For the full story, see “The Tea Party’s War on Schools,”
by Dana Goldstein, on the Daily Beast.

Here are a few of the details from Goldstein’s piece:
  • The parental-rights movement wants to block any reauthorization of NCLB that regulates homeschooling
  • They want tax credits for families that home school their kids
  •  They intend to block the U.S. from ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (already ratified by all UN members except the U.S. and Somalia) by passing the deceptively named Parental Rights Amendment.
  • Rand Paul is a strong proponent of tax credits for homeschoolers. He is also an opponent of NCLB and was quoted as saying “No Child Left Behind was a huge mistake.”
  •  Tea Party activist and GOP senator Jim DeMint is leading the Parental Rights Amendment movement to block the Convention on the Rights of the Child
  • South Dakota representative Kristie Noem tried to lower the age of mandatory education from 18 to 16 when she was a state legislator.
  •  In North Dakota, Representative Rick Berg passed a law allowing any adult to home school their child, even if they never earned a high-school diploma themselves.

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