A Call for a Return of Local Control in Education

tom-pauken-photo_high-resolutionTom Pauken, a former member of the Texas Workforce Commission and now a Republican candidate in the Texas gubernatorial race, wrote a great piece in Human Events calling for a return of local control in education.

He points out the defining characteristics of a philosophy that he says is shared by Common Core advocates and intellectual elites who he says have taken over public schools in Texas:

  • a top-down, centralized approach
  • an obsession with testing
  • one-size-fits-all standards and curriculum
  • the use of buzzwords like “rigor” so as to imply that opponents favor low quality education
  • giving lots lip service to principles like local control while essentially threatening those (schools, districts, states) who don’t choose to comply to do so under state mandates.

He said that Republican advocates of the Common Core have missed the shift that has taken place with the conservative expectations surrounding education policies.

Republican supporters of the Common Core have missed the shift that has occurred among conservatives since the time when Bush took office in Texas. Conservatives have returned to their roots. After letting their guard down in the mid-1990s, they recovered their healthy suspicion of centralization and top-down solutions. Common Core advocates appear to be genuinely dumbfounded that anyone would not support implementation of their standards. Yet the past two presidential administrations have taught us to be highly skeptical when a room full of experts say “trust us.” (emphasis mine)

Exactly!  He notes that Texans are just now working to wrest control of education away from the state and back to where it belongs with local school districts.

Read the whole article.