The call for local control of education and for parental control is not a new argument. President Thomas Jefferson cautioned against a state, not just a federal role in education in a letter written to Joseph Cabell on February 2, 1816.
…if it is believed that these elementary schools will be better managed by the governor and council, the commissioners of the literary fund, or any other general authority of the government, than by the parents within each ward, it is a belief against all experience. Try the principle one step further, and amend the bill so as to commit to the governor and council the management of all our farms, our mills, and merchants’ stores. No, my friend, the way to have good and safe government, is not to trust it all to one, but to divide it among the many, distributing to every one exactly the functions he is competent to. Let the national government be entrusted with the defence of the nation, and its foreign and federal relations; the State governments with the civil rights, laws, police, and administration of what concerns the State generally; the counties with the local concerns of the counties, and each ward direct the interests within itself. (emphasis mine)
Local… local… local… Jefferson would be appalled by the concept of a Federal Department of Education, let alone, national core standards. Those who argue that educational bureaucrats know better than parents regarding the education of their child still hold onto that belief against all experience.
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