Jay P Greene: Reformers Can Undermine Liberty


Dr. Jay P. Greene, a professor of education reform at the University of Arkansas, spoke at the Milton Friedman Legacy for Freedom Day Luncheon in Athens, Georgia.  Dr. Greene cautioned that reformers should stay away from PLDD — Petty Little Dictator Disorder — which he says happens when you become what you are trying to overcome. He also spoke about practical and liberty objections to Common Core State Standards.

The Athens Banner-Herald covered the event:

But the movement will still increase federal control over public schools, said Jay Greene, head of the University of Arkansas’ department of education reform.

“It’s politically inevitable that efforts will collapse, be hijacked by the establishment or become an empty shell,” Greene said in a talk at Athens Country Club sponsored by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation.

Most states have signed on for the Common Core Curriculum, which would install a common set of academic standards across the nation, along with a nationwide standardized testing regime.

But that’s because they could get exemptions from No Child Left Behind requirements and the chance to get more federal dollars, he said.

“Adoption was an empty gesture,” he said. “The people in charge won’t let it happen.”

And research has shown that in the long run, improved standards don’t lead to improved results, Greene told the luncheon gathering of about 50 people.

Common Core will fail for practical reasons, too, such as increased costs, he said.

“The new assessments will cost a lot more,” he said.

The nation already has a testing program in place that can show states or local school districts how they stack up nationally — the National Assessment of Educational Progress, administered every four years to children ages 9, 13 and 17 years.

You can watch his entire speech below: