Friday, October 1, 2010

Coburn: Time to end the feds' Education Dept "boondoggle"

If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, the U.S. Department of Education is a 30-year experiment in insanity that needs to end.

For more than 200 years, the federal government respected the wisdom of the U.S. Constitution by not interfering with those most capable of ensuring children receive a good education – parents, teachers, and local schools.

During those years, our nation won two world wars, put a man on the moon and became a global superpower. Yet, in 1979, politicians in Washington who were eager to placate special interests cast aside the Constitution and created a federal Department of Education as a political favor to the National Education Association (NEA), the nation’s largest teacher union.

While its existence may seem non-controversial today, the department’s creation was incredibly contentious at the time, and even opposed by publications such as the New York Times and Washington Post.

They were right to be worried. Since 1965, the federal government has invested over $2 trillion in American education. The payoff? Stagnant test scores, abysmal graduation rates, and piles of debt.

Continuing down this path is the definition of insanity, yet that is precisely what the unions and their patrons in Congress continue to push for.

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