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The U.S. Department of Education is Breaking the Law; Pass It On

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The U.S. Department of Education

is Breaking the Law; Pass It On

If you’ve watched news about education over the last few decades, and you’ve noticed that the U. S. Department of Education has paid for and, therefore, taken over more and more control of what goes on in the classroom, it may come as no surprise that they have officially crossed the line and begun engaging in illegal activity.

Jail cells Department of EducationThis news came courtesy of a blog post titled “The U. S. Department of Education is Breaking the Law” by Jay P. Greene. So that you can check out the law yourself, he shared a link to the Department of Education Organization Act 1979 so that you may read it for yourself.

What the Department of Education Says It’s Doing

Interestingly, the admission of guilt comes directly from a U. S. Department of education spokesman, Peter Cunningham, to wit:

“Just for the record: we are for high standards, not national standards and we are for a well-rounded curriculum, not a national curriculum. There is a big difference between funding development of curriculum—which is something we have always done—and mandating a national curriculum—which is something we have never done. And yes—we believe in using incentives to advance our agenda.”

As Mr. Greene astutely notes, we don’t even have to get into the semantics game of bribes, excuse me, incentives for various states to come around to the curriculum the Department of Education is funding. Instead, let’s look at the law’s Section 103b.

What the Law Says The U. S. Department of Education Shouldn’t Be Doing

No provision of a program administered by the Secretary or by any other officer of the Department shall be construed to authorize the Secretary or any such officer to exercise any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum, program of instruction, administration, or personnel of any educational institution, school, or school system, over any accrediting agency or association, or over the selection or content of library resources, textbooks, or other instructional materials by any educational institution or school system, except to the extent authorized by law.” (emphasis added)

The $64,000 dollar question is, how does the U. S. Department of Education fund curriculum development without exercising direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum ? Doesn’t he who pays the piper call the tune?

It could be argued that, due to standardized test content and favored textbook publishers, the public schools already have something akin to a one-size-fits-all curriculum invading classrooms across the country. But, as the “Critical Response to the Shanker Institute Manifesto and the U. S. Department of Education’s Initiative to Develop a National Curriculum and National Assessments” points out, there are multiple reasons a national curriculum “does not meet the criteria for sound public policy.”

First, there is no constitutional or statutory basis for national standards, national assessments, or national curricula.

Second, there is no consistent evidence that a national curriculum leads to high academic achievement.

Third, the national standards on which the administration is planning to base a national curriculum are inadequate.

Fourth, there is no body of evidence for a “best” design for curriculum sequences in any subject.

Fifth, there is no evidence to justify a single high school curriculum for all students.

And I’ll add a sixth especially for homeschooling parents: A national curriculum would become part of many, if not most, state laws or regulations for you, too. You are invited to sign the Critical Response to a national curriculum at the link above, and to share the news with all individuals in case they believe the points above regarding a national curriculum.

(See also National Curriculum Coming to a School Near You.”)

Besides, who you gonna call about this illegal activity? The Critical Response is probably the only way to get the U. S. Department of Education to stop breaking the law – at least for a little while.





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