Bill Passes the House - But Will It Really Impact American Education
For Immediate Release.
December 14, 2001 Tragically,
the House of Representatives on December 13, 2001, passed the “No Child
Left Behind” bill (H.R. 1) which will do little to enhance educational
achievement but will increase the federal government’s role in education.
The Senate is expected to pass the measure next week, allowing
the President to sign it before Christmas.
The measure increases the size of the already too large out-of-control
federal bureaucracy of the Department of Education.
If fully appropriated, the bill will provide in the first year
$26.3 billion which would be about $8 billion more than for fiscal budget
year 2001. Furthermore, compared
to President Bush’s original proposal the final measure has 13 more
programs, fewer opportunities for children to leave failing schools
and provides little flexibility to states.
little if any correlation between academic performance and higher per-pupil
spending in schools which has increased almost 100 percent after inflation,
class size which has declined more than 20 percent, and most teachers’
increased educational training (master’s degrees), as school performance
has deteriorated and stagnated over the last twenty years.
outcomes have resulted by the attempted federal takeover of education
over 35 years ago, when the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)
was first introduced. This bill
reauthorizes the original measure. Title I of the ESEA, for example, provides funding in areas with
high poverty rates. This program
is by far the largest and one of the most regulated federal education
programs. However, the National Assessment of Educational
Progress (NAEP) demonstrates that 60 percent of underprivileged fourth
graders still cannot read at a basic level despite the $130 billion
spent over the past 30 years specifically for poor children.
of academic achievement is based on the NAEP.
However, this test will result in only “the basics” being taught
because teachers will “teach to the test” teaching only the small percentage
of material that will be actually covered on the tests. This will result in the quality of education being further reduced
as curriculums are narrowed and dumbed down to enhance test scores at
the expense of learning. Furthermore,
since tests will be used to evaluate schools and teachers, subjects
such as science, history and English will be short-changed or possibly
omitted since state achievement trends would be confirmed by state NAEP
scores on reading and math.
would be provided for schools whose students failed to make progress,
but for continued failure schools would also face corrective action.
However, it has already been demonstrated by the poorly implemented
educational reform passed in 1994 that the federal government lacks
the willingness to withhold funding from states that fail to make education
to a statement by Dr. Joel P. Rutkowski, president of the American Voice
Institute of Public Policy, “The measure is a costly inconsequential
effort at real school reform, providing pseudo school choice by allowing
students attending failing schools to transfer to another public or
have the right to tutorial success.”
What is lacking
in the education bill “No Child Left Behind,” to improve education is
the federal government returning power and dollars to parents, teachers
and principals. Studies have
demonstrated that true school choice inspires excellence and is integral
to accountability. This omission
in the recently passed House bill unfortunately has jeopardized students’
ability to strive for academic excellence.
For Interviews Contact:
Joel P. Rutkowski, P.h.D.
President, The American Voice Institute Of Public Policy
to the American Voice Institute of Public Policy Home Page