National Journal suggests that it’s conceivable that a gutted ESEA could be reauthorized around the idea of local control. That would make the Tea Party and NEA, the odd edu-bedfellows, very happy. Here’s the problem.
National employee groups bargain with locally elected officials–a well financed and highly sophisticated and coordinated effort across the table from a PTA parent. In big cities, the employee groups elect the board. Goliath is winning.
It’s ironic that the republicans are ready to give up on accountability and hand schools back to the employees.
It would be logistically possible to offer every student in American at the beginning of the second semester the opportunity to take any foreign language and any AP or advanced STEM course online. States could save hundreds of millions and quality would be consistently high. Local control stands in the way.
Local control of education is an American anachronism corrupted beyond repair in urban areas and antiquated by innovation.
NCLB was a bipartisan attempt to enact a good school promise–that every student and every family in America deserves access to at least one good school in their community. It was enacted because states were derelict in addressing chronic failure particularly for low income and minority students.
The way to make control really local is to make every school a charter school authorized by the state–high standards for quality, full parent choice, and statewide online and blended options.