ERIC Number: ED452319
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-Apr-26
Parent Power: Why National Standards Won't Improve Education. Policy Analysis No. 396.
President George W. Bush has unveiled an activist education plan that requires states to improve their worst schools or face sanctions from the federal government. The plan would tie Title I money to the states' adopting "clear, measurable goals focused on basic skills and essential knowledge" and testing children every year in grades 3-8. Meanwhile, the federal government would expand its own national test to check up on the states, resulting in a de facto federal curriculum. While Bush insists that accountability is the key to improvement, this paper argues that giving more power to the federal government is not the solution. , Rather, the paper suggests that what America needs is the "debureaucratization" of education which would make it possible for parents and education entrepreneurs to work together in a competitive marketplace to provide the best education for children. In such a system, standards in K-12 education, like those in higher education, would be set in a marketplace responsive to parents' demands and students' needs. This paper focuses on: (1) education standards in early America; (2) the modern standards movement; (3) the case for standards; (4) the case against standards; (5) whether or not the government should set educational standards; (6) the trouble with government standards; and (7) the alternative (parents in power and working within a competitive education market). (Contains 56 endnotes.) (SM)
Descriptors: Academic Standards, Accountability, Educational Improvement, Educational Quality, Elementary Secondary Education, Federal Government, Government Role, National Standards, Parent Participation, Politics of Education
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Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Cato Inst., Washington, DC.