Bachmann: Why do we need a Department of Education, anyway?

posted at 8:30 pm on September 5, 2011 by Tina Korbe

CNN’s Political Ticker isolates this element of Rep. Michele Bachmann’s reliably conservative responses at Sen. Jim DeMint’s political forum in South Carolina today, making it both a headline and lead paragraph:

Painting herself as a “constitutional conservative” Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann told Sen. Jim DeMint’s forum Monday that if elected president she would look to get rid of the Department of Education, among other things.

“Because the Constitution does not specifically enumerate nor does it give to the federal government the role and duty to superintend over education that historically has been held by the parents and by local communities and by state governments,” she said, responding to a question by DeMint, a popular figure among the tea party movement.

The not-so-subtle implication of PT’s prominent placement of this Bachmann statement is that it’s obviously extreme. You know those crazy “constitutional conservatives”! But is it? Abolishing the Department of Education might sound like an ultra-conservative pipe dream — and anything but advisable in the Information Age, when education is key to global competitiveness — but, perhaps, just perhaps, Bachmann has a point.

In the first place, she’s right about the Constitution. But, in the second, does the federal government actually do a better job of educating our children than would state or local governments? Naturally, questions of right and equity enter in. It is, after all, commonly accepted that children have the right to an equal education (although even that could be debated). But as regards efficacy, it’s pretty clear flexibility and freedom to address the needs of individual children enhances education.

Please don’t interpret this as an endorsement of Bachmann’s view; I’m still forming my opinions on education policy. It is, rather, a defense of the debate. The purpose and prowess of the Ed Department ought to be analyzed. And the agency, no less than any other budget-straining bit of the bureaucracy, ought to be held accountable.

This all brings me back to why I love Bachmann as a presidential candidate (if not necessarily as the GOP nominee or actual president): She says what needs to be said to move the public dialogue in a productive direction. Sometimes, she does that by simply speaking truth. Sometimes, as now, she does it by offering up views that can then be debated, discussed, shaped and molded into a more palatable — yet-ever-so-slightly-more-conservative — position in the immediate term — while leaving the possibility of her so-called “extreme” solutions open in the long term.

Update: Just wanted to clarify that Bachmann is “right about the Constitution” insofar as she says that the Constitution does not explicitly enumerate education as among the responsibilities of the federal government. I do not think the Ed Department is unconstitutional — but neither is it constitutionally mandated, leaving the people with the option of determining whether education is best directed at the federal or state level.


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It wasn’t uncommon “back in the day” for young men to graduate from a college by the time they were 18 or so.
Dr. ZhivBlago on September 5, 2011 at 10:27 PM

Yup this is a key point. In England in the 1950s many were out working at 15. Now Obama wants them to leave the nest at 26. That’s a cataclysmic decline.

gh on September 5, 2011 at 10:31 PM

This is exactly why a fundamental fiscal restructuring of government departments is in order. The simplest example is privatization. In this case, control passes to shareholders and the government’s hand is removed.

gh on September 5, 2011 at 10:26 PM

But in the case of the USPS, government’s hand is not removed. The same charter under which the USPS operates now as a “quasi-governmental agency,” whatever the [bleep] that is, also gives them a monopoly on certain kinds of mail. American corporations can actually be fined for failure to use the more expensive, less efficient USPS as opposed to FedEx or UPS. Even that’s not enough to make the USPS solvent. So instead of offering new services and improving, the USPS just ups their price. I guess that’s the “governmental” in “quasi-governmental.”

gryphon202 on September 5, 2011 at 10:34 PM

But in the case of the USPS, government’s hand is not removed
gryphon202 on September 5, 2011 at 10:34 PM

Yes. That’s the problem. The politicians want to keep a finger in.

I said “shareholders”.

gh on September 5, 2011 at 10:36 PM

I said “shareholders”.

gh on September 5, 2011 at 10:36 PM

I understand where you’re coming from. But “shareholders” implies ownership. What function would a national Department of Education play as a publicly traded, privatized corporation? Devolve the power to the states. Another corporation would in the very least be another target for payoffs and cronyism. “Privitization” isn’t a magic bullet when you’re talking about an organization that was founded on fundamentally flawed precepts to begin with.

gryphon202 on September 5, 2011 at 10:39 PM

United States Department of Education

Created by the Department of Education Organization Act (Public Law 96-88) and signed into law by President Jimmy Carter on October 17, 1979.

Does anything else need to be said….

Jimmuh Carter’s great idea…..

Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

roflmao

donabernathy on September 5, 2011 at 10:45 PM

President Jimmy Carter​ created the federal Education Department

INC on September 5, 2011 at 8:39 PM

Exactly. The DOE wasn’t even around when I (and probably more than a few commenters here) began grammar school. It’s not necessary, in fact it’s not even helpful. It was created (theoretically) to improve education in America, but seems to have had the exact opposite effect.

29Victor on September 5, 2011 at 10:46 PM

Get rid of it.

We do need to change our way of thinking. It all starts with our way of thinking. There is absolutely no reason to have a lot of these agencies. There is not a blasted thing that a government agency can do that a congress can’t. The only difference is that congress can be held accountable. It’s one thing for an EPA to come up with a policy that shuts down half of our power plants, it’s quite another thing for congress to vote to shut down half of our power plants.

Outside of the CIA, FBI and maybe one or two others at most, we don’t need them.

JellyToast on September 5, 2011 at 10:47 PM

What function would a national Department of Education play as a publicly traded, privatized corporation? Devolve the power to the states.

Absolutely. Devolving power to the states is an American option because of the 10th amendment. You could incorporate it and make the states the shareholders. The point is that the strategy of “close the department” is clearly not working and in some cases (anything to with children or the elderly) is easy to propagandize.

I did say that the solution depends on the department, I think. Dept of Energy is responsible for the nuclear stockpile. If it is closed that responsibility should go (back?) to DoD.

One goal should be to neutralize the “progressive ammendments” (there are four of them, I don’t remember exactly — two are income tax and electing the senate). A balanced budget amendment would only be part of the solution.

Long term strategy is required. The left took 100 years to get from Marx to the Frankfurt School. The right needs a strategy beyond Milton Friedman and Thomas Sowell.

gh on September 5, 2011 at 10:50 PM

As much as it pains me to agree with Lawdawg, I really have to. Cause he’s right.

gryphon202 on September 5, 2011 at 10:30 PM

Aw c’mon gryphon, a few candidate-preference differences aside, I think we’re both on the same page :)

Lawdawg86 on September 5, 2011 at 10:52 PM

Big government conservatives, with your exact train of thought, ruined the broader conservative movement under Bush. You had your shot and failed miserably, and we aren’t going to let you do it again.

Lawdawg86 on September 5, 2011 at 10:28 PM

Your insult notwithstanding, you continue to miss my point. I would wish not to replicate anything Bush but to use the very institutions that the libs so worship against them. I appreciate your purity, but I, unlike you, do not wish to win just a battle — by wiping out an agency here or there — I want to wipe these people from the face of the earth. It is called judo, using your opponent’s energy against them. Or, maybe, you’re just playing checkers in a game of chess. At any rate, I will use any weapon anywhere and at any time to protect this country and my family, including my most hated weapon, the government.

TXUS on September 5, 2011 at 10:56 PM

Exactly. The DOE wasn’t even around when I (and probably more than a few commenters here) began grammar school. It’s not necessary, in fact it’s not even helpful. It was created (theoretically) to improve education in America, but seems to have had the exact opposite effect.

29Victor on September 5, 2011 at 10:46 PM

Yeah, and doing away with memorizing times tables, doing away with diagramming/parsing sentences, downplaying good handwriting and spelling, and engaging in “new” (fuzzy) math were making headway before then.

But, we still lead the way in science and technology, and the vast majority still had good jobs (though I do remember turning away from manufacturing and towards the service and information industries being touted as a good thing)…it obviously takes time for these things to catch up to us.

Dr. ZhivBlago on September 5, 2011 at 10:56 PM

At any rate, I will use any weapon anywhere and at any time to protect this country and my family, including my most hated weapon, the government.

TXUS on September 5, 2011 at 10:56 PM

There is no constitutional basis for continuing the existence of the DoE. Call yourself whatever you want, but “constitutionalist” rings hollow in this instance.

gryphon202 on September 5, 2011 at 11:12 PM

Aw c’mon gryphon, a few candidate-preference differences aside, I think we’re both on the same page :)

Lawdawg86 on September 5, 2011 at 10:52 PM

I didn’t mean anything personal, Dawg. You just expressed what I consider a groan-worthy and inconvenient, yet inescapable truth.

gryphon202 on September 5, 2011 at 11:12 PM

As a teacher I would love to see the DoE abolished. I started teaching 20 years ago and if I had known then what was going to happen due to the DoE I would have gone into another field.

dawgyear on September 5, 2011 at 11:24 PM

There is no constitutional basis for continuing the existence of the DoE. Call yourself whatever you want, but “constitutionalist” rings hollow in this instance.

gryphon202 on September 5, 2011 at 11:12 PM

Never said there was a constitutional basis for the DoE, in fact I said there was no such basis. But, until the SCOTUS agrees with me and you on that point, my position is to use the damn thing to our benefit. Turn it upside down, for God’s sake, make it work for the right cause, not what it’s being used for now. My point is that, if we can recapture the presidency, keep the house, and win the senate, we should use every single arrow in the quiver against our enemies to make sure we never again have to defend liberty, but to advance it. If some of those arrows happen to be a government agency here or there, I don’t mind firing them. Once we wipe the enemy out, we can always reshape the quiver.

TXUS on September 5, 2011 at 11:34 PM

TXUS on September 5, 2011 at 11:34 PM

If there is no constitutional basis for the DoE to exist, we should not rationalize a strategic reason for one. I’m with LawDawg. Bush 43 and Bush 41 before him tried all that. Didn’t work. We don’t need more of the same.

gryphon202 on September 5, 2011 at 11:40 PM

Folks, the Department did not even exist before 1980. Somehow I got all the way through college without its existence and I don’t THINK I qualify as a flaming idiot.

It would be interesting to compare the decline of American education from the top slot to the growth of that department.

michaelo on September 5, 2011 at 11:48 PM

If there is no constitutional basis for the DoE to exist, we should not rationalize a strategic reason for one. I’m with LawDawg. Bush 43 and Bush 41 before him tried all that. Didn’t work. We don’t need more of the same.

gryphon202 on September 5, 2011 at 11:40 PM

Good, you like unilateral disarmament. I don’t. Again, SCOTUS has determined the DoE as constitutional, so it’s there whether we like it or not. I say we use it as weapon in our own arsenal, while at the same time we do what we can to kill any of these non-con agencies. Really, you and LawDawg either don’t understand my aim, or maybe you all oughta find a motel room or just go somewhere and pick out drapes.

TXUS on September 5, 2011 at 11:53 PM

But if the Department of Education goes, what will happen to some of their major vendors, like the condom and cucumber markets?

eeyore on September 6, 2011 at 12:04 AM

But, in the second, does the federal government actually do a better job of educating our children than would state or local governments?

Irrelevant.

Ronnie on September 6, 2011 at 12:13 AM

Thè department of education ought to be privatized, If the various education groups want a centralized entity, fine let them support it.

drfredc on September 6, 2011 at 12:16 AM

I agree. There many things the states can do for themselves. This kind of goes back to that flat tax rate thing. Flat tax rate and no need for filing taxes, cut back the IRS to corporate tax code only. Maybe I’m missing somthing else, but why do we need so many law enforcement agencies? ATF, DEA, FBI, and some Treasury and Homeland Security functions and could be combined couldn’t they? Guess it comes down where there wouldn’t be enough agency head positions to assign your buddies to when your elected.

Russ86 on September 6, 2011 at 12:27 AM

The notion of no Dept of Education…or any of the other failed social[ism] experiments…is near orgasmic.

deedtrader on September 6, 2011 at 12:28 AM

Good, you like unilateral disarmament. I don’t. Again, SCOTUS has determined the DoE as constitutional, so it’s there whether we like it or not. I say we use it as weapon in our own arsenal, while at the same time we do what we can to kill any of these non-con agencies. Really, you and LawDawg either don’t understand my aim, or maybe you all oughta find a motel room or just go somewhere and pick out drapes.

TXUS on September 5, 2011 at 11:53 PM

I like following the constitution. The department of education isn’t some dangerous weapon. It is an unconstitutional federal agency. For you to engage in such hyperbole and mischaracterization of my statement is very unbecoming. I like the constitution, and just because the Supreme Court says something is constitutional does not make it so.

gryphon202 on September 6, 2011 at 12:32 AM

One of the great comedies of the last 50 years was Yes, Minister and then later, Yes, Prime Minister. Both follow the exploits of Jim Hacker, a low-level minister (and then Prime Minister) as he tries to navigate through Britain’s intrenchable bureucracy.

Here are some clips about the state of public education:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeF_o1Ss1NQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=En4lu_1bcsI

The series is great and kind of sad since nothing has changed in 30 years. I highly recommend it.

PackerBronco on September 6, 2011 at 12:42 AM

Unfortunately, he did not have the political clout to accomplish this in his two terms.

bill bennett was charged with dismantling it and instead he and senate republicans undermined Reagan’s attempts.

peacenprosperity on September 6, 2011 at 12:42 AM

it is being discussed they be removed from membership

That is a baseless accusation insinuating that expelling members is her idea. State your sources or head back to kos, troll.

peacenprosperity on September 6, 2011 at 12:45 AM

But, in the second, does the federal government actually do a better job of educating our children than would state or local governments?

Are the teachers in your school district federal employees? The federal government teaches no one, produces no energy, creates mainly jobs that benefit the job holders. The entire federal government is a giant ponzi scheme and we are the suckers.

peacenprosperity on September 6, 2011 at 12:49 AM

Really everything that was said at the Palmetto State event, and this is the clip you chose to show. IMO, the winners of the night were Ron Paul and Mitt Romney.

This clip shows part of both of their answers. Mitt especially knocked it out of the park! Romney’s clip starts at the 6:05 mark.

joncoltonis on September 6, 2011 at 12:51 AM

The Dept. of Education makes zero sense, it is definitely a states’ issue. The Federal government actually steals money from local schools only to return a fraction of the money with a boatload of regulations. Ridiculous.

Cindy Munford on September 6, 2011 at 1:20 AM

In the spirit of Socialism and really big government interference, check out Common Core Standards. The DoE has use them and a direct tie to funding to strong arm all but 7 states into adopting these watered-down, vague so called standards. Check it out if you are skeptical. They are a tool to create new little communists and progressives. Any of us in the teaching profession who do not subscribe to the current company message need to start looking for other work.

So, I agree with Bachman. It is more than handwriting on the walls now.

InTheBellyoftheBeast on September 6, 2011 at 1:29 AM

The Dept. of Education makes zero sense, it is definitely a states’ issue. The Federal government actually steals money from local schools only to return a fraction of the money with a boatload of regulations. Ridiculous.

Cindy Munford on September 6, 2011 at 1:20 AM

Both Federal and state governments will dole out taxpayer’s money, but there are always strings attached, and are usually the brainchildren of someone somewhere who’s caught the ideological ear of a politician. NCLB comes to mind as well as RTTT.

All they succeed in doing things this way is to stifle the efforts of people at the local levels who are in a better position to make a positive difference.

Dr. ZhivBlago on September 6, 2011 at 1:33 AM

Everyone in DC pays lip service to cutting the budget; Bachmann made the first and only real suggestion for cuts.

The test scores in the US have remained about the same for the past 30 years. So obviously, it’s time to stop wasting the money on the Dept. of Ed. The unions will scream, though.

At least she started the discussion. Most of CNN’s viewers will probably agree with him if they hear the argument.

PattyJ on September 6, 2011 at 1:37 AM

She says what needs to be said to move the public dialogue in a productive direction.

Yes she does.

Cut spending. Eliminate DoE.

petefrt on September 6, 2011 at 2:07 AM

I appreciate your purity, but I, unlike you, do not wish to win just a battle — by wiping out an agency here or there — I want to wipe these people from the face of the earth. It is called judo, using your opponent’s energy against them. Or, maybe, you’re just playing checkers in a game of chess. At any rate, I will use any weapon anywhere and at any time to protect this country and my family, including my most hated weapon, the government.

Good, you like unilateral disarmament. I don’t. Again, SCOTUS has determined the DoE as constitutional, so it’s there whether we like it or not. I say we use it as weapon in our own arsenal, while at the same time we do what we can to kill any of these non-con agencies. Really, you and LawDawg either don’t understand my aim, or maybe you all oughta find a motel room or just go somewhere and pick out drapes.

TXUS on September 5, 2011 at 11:53 PM

And, uh, what war exactly are you fighting? You’re just a hyperbolic, self-important armchair general in a political “war” of your own imagination. Your only battlefield is the comments section of a conservative news blog. Yeah, keep fightin’ the good fight soldier

Lawdawg86 on September 6, 2011 at 3:03 AM

The DOE, both of them, are just like the list you can go to with this address. Give it a try and see what the government has grown into.

http://www.historycentral.com/Civics/

mixplix on September 6, 2011 at 3:18 AM

I agree with her on this issue. The Federal Department of Education should be dismantled. And, the supposed non-partisan NLRB should be canned too. When it sued Boeing for building a plant in South Carolina, a Right to Work State, it showed that its day had passed. The problem with our economy is that it is being hog-tied by a bunch of bureaucrats in Washington.

SC.Charlie on September 6, 2011 at 3:29 AM

She’s absolutely correct. In fact the Gov needs to return to its core responsibilities and do them well.

Instead of doing a lousy job on everything.

Let the states edjumacate!

Lonetown on September 6, 2011 at 4:20 AM

The Dept. of Education makes zero sense, it is definitely a states’ issue. The Federal government actually steals money from local schools only to return a fraction of the money with a boatload of regulations. Ridiculous.
Cindy Munford on September 6, 2011 at 1:20 AM

That’s the way most federal programs work. There is no rational explanation for 80% of the things the federal government does.

“Education is good. Ergo, it must be centrally controlled.” That’s just plain idiotic.

Fighting a war? Of course. Launching a space shuttle? Maybe. But educating a child or giving a sandwich to a homeless person? Seriously, you’d have to be insane to imagine the federal government should be doing things like that.

And what happens when someone states patently obvious common sense? The Propaganda Machine starts screaming that SHE is the “crazy” one.

logis on September 6, 2011 at 6:38 AM

Before Jimmy Carter created the DoE, America led the world in Science, Math, ect. We designed all the good things the world enjoyed.

35 or so years after, America leads the world in Poli Sci retards, Lawyers, Sociologists, African Studies, Womyn’s Studies, Queer Theory, ect.

You decide whether Jimmy Carter’s DoE was such a good idea or not.

MNHawk on September 6, 2011 at 6:46 AM

MN certainly is nuts. However, she is also right on this issue. Good for her and let’s hope that the real contenders are in agreement.

MJBrutus on September 6, 2011 at 7:29 AM

Jerry Pournelle posted a telling graph back in 2003 about the cost of education and reading scores in the US. What is clear is that children in the US have the same scores as they did going back to the 1960′s which is after the era of Why Poor Johnny Can’t Read… and the political nostrums of spending oodles of cash far and above the rate of inflation hasn’t changed that reading rate one bit. Nothing, not the Dept. of Education, not spending more on teacher salaries and benefits, not even such things as addressing ‘class size’ has changed that rate.

That is a system that indicates that what you spend is not a driving force on the end result, in fact you can spend lots more and get no added benefit, at all. If you are concerned about education and literacy, and not about featherbedding jobs for the NEA, then this graph points out that high levels of spending are not the answer. More bureaucracy to administer such funds is not the answer, either.

An entrenched establishment to continue keeping this problem where it is so that lobbyists and bureaucrats can soak more money from the general funds is what is happening and it isn’t about ‘education’ at all. You want a more cost effective education system? Then cut the costs back to inflation adjusted amounts back when the BABY BOOM had to be educated… because all the spending on fewer students post-Boom hasn’t helped one, little bit.

ajacksonian on September 6, 2011 at 7:46 AM

As a 27 year worker in the classroom, first as an instructional aide, then as a teacher (who NEVER joined the teachers’ union, by the way), I never saw any reason for the DOE. It just sucked money towards Washington and created a huge bureacracy.

Education needs to be kept local, IMO.

StarLady on September 6, 2011 at 7:58 AM

Came on folks. It was a payoff to the NEA by Carter for the money and labor getting him elected. Education standards (those test the NEA hates)have fallen since the feds took over education.
It needs to be returned to parents as well as responsibility from for their own children in a myriad of other areas.

While she’s at it -a bigger one is the influence of the NEA upon public curriculum. No union ought to have any say in what is taught our children. They reek of anti-american propaganda and anti-God and family.

Only teachers are ignorant enough to join a union that has as a major goal (abortion) the slaughter of the union’s future clientele.

Don L on September 6, 2011 at 8:08 AM

It’s a corrupt and union driven system for entitlement driven people that have very little concern about education or children. The American public education system is eating up huge amounts of capitol with very poor results. Teachers are whining that they have to go back to work and begin the process of spewing propaganda to the kids until they earn their pensions and bail. That’s all it’s about.

Hening on September 6, 2011 at 8:35 AM

Department overview
Formed October 17, 1979
Preceding agencies United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare
United States Office of Education
Jurisdiction Federal government of the United States
Employees 5,000 (2007)
Annual budget US$32 billion (2009)[1]
US$56 billion (est. 2010)
US$71 billion (est. 2011)
ARRA Funding:
US$102 billion (2009)[1]
US$51 billion (est. 2010)
US$23 billion (est. 2011)
Department executives Arne Duncan, Secretary

Disgusting.

the_souse on September 6, 2011 at 8:35 AM

But is it? Abolishing the Department of Education might sound like an ultra-conservative pipe dream — and anything but advisable in the Information Age, when education is key to global competitiveness

Why? Your obvious contention is that government oversight is required for the US to remain globally competitive.

What?

Check the figures. We are slipping by the year and producing indoctrinated, powder-puff feminized males, gender confused females and seriously clueless half graduates who would not have graduated high school in the 60′s or 70′s. Work with some of these people. I have. It’s very frustrating trying to get an honest days work out of texters, twitterers and entitlement addled perpetual adolescents.

98ZJUSMC on September 6, 2011 at 8:52 AM

I would wish not to replicate anything Bush but to use the very institutions that the libs so worship against them. I appreciate your purity, but I, unlike you, do not wish to win just a battle — by wiping out an agency here or there — I want to wipe these people from the face of the earth. It is called judo, using your opponent’s energy against them. Or, maybe, you’re just playing checkers in a game of chess. At any rate, I will use any weapon anywhere and at any time to protect this country and my family, including my most hated weapon, the government.

TXUS on September 5, 2011 at 10:56 PM

You are making the same error that many of the leaders in the Lord of The Rings trilogy made.

Like the “One Ring”, government power is a corrupting force that doesn’t truly serve those who fight for freedom. It is not an arrow that you can use to fight evil with. If you choose to draw and fire it, it will return and strike you instead. We must resist the temptation to take and wield this power, but must instead allow and pursue it’s destruction, so that none may wield it again.

The true battle we must fight can only be won at the local level, where the conservative power is strongest. The more centralized an approach we take, the more we fail. Power must be removed from federal hands and placed back into the hands of the people. It is the only way.

wearyman on September 6, 2011 at 8:53 AM

InTheBellyoftheBeast on September 6, 2011 at 1:29 AM

You are totally correct. The common core standards will also be used to usher in the Longitudinal Data System that will gather intrusive personal information on families and students…and share them with HHS and Dept of Labor. Why? To supply the workforce.

Students will be TRACKED from birth to age 20 and out into the workforce. Talk about intrusive….for more information on Common Core standards, check out http://www.truthinamericaneducation.com

Disclaimer: This website is mot paid for by multi-million dollar lobbyists or companies looking to make money from taxpayers. It’s a site maintained by individuals concerned about the nationalization (which is illegal) of education.

manateespirit on September 6, 2011 at 9:05 AM

I’m generally in favor of having nation wide standards on education, if just to make it more clear what a given achievement means, but there is no real reason to have the federal government micromanage schools in general.
Beyond the one-size-fits-all uniformity across the states, I think there is a problem with one-diploma-fits-all across all students. Our high schools should really be doing most of the training differentiation that we are currently relegating to colleges. We really should have high school graduates that are certified to start work in various trades, or with different recognized levels of achievement in academic subjects.

Count to 10 on September 6, 2011 at 9:17 AM

I’m generally in favor of having nation wide standards on education, if just to make it more clear what a given achievement means, but there is no real reason to have the federal government micromanage schools in general.

Count to 10 on September 6, 2011 at 9:17 AM

There is a real reason not to have the federal government involved in education at all: It’s called THE CONSTITUTION.

gryphon202 on September 6, 2011 at 9:26 AM

Abolishing the Department of Education might sound like an ultra-conservative pipe dream — and anything but advisable in the Information Age, when education is key to global competitiveness

I this DailyKos??????

faraway on September 6, 2011 at 9:28 AM

gggrrrr, Is

faraway on September 6, 2011 at 9:29 AM

It’s not necessary, in fact it’s not even helpful. It was created (theoretically) to improve education in America, but seems to have had the exact opposite effect.

29Victor on September 5, 2011 at 10:46 PM

And they have SQUANDERED BILLIONS they cannot account for. The money just vanished.

dogsoldier on September 6, 2011 at 9:42 AM

Here’s an interesting PJ O’Rourke article on education.

The DOE hasn’t been around forever, it was instituted by the Carter Administration (which is, itself, a reason to cut it). Kids managed to learn before the DOE. All the DoE manages to do is employ thousands of people. It doesn’t contribute in any measurable way to the quality of teaching. If anything, it imposes rules that handcuff administrators trying to weed out bad teachers.

hawksruleva on September 6, 2011 at 10:08 AM

You are making the same error that many of the leaders in the Lord of The Rings trilogy made.

Like the “One Ring”, government power is a corrupting force that doesn’t truly serve those who fight for freedom. It is not an arrow that you can use to fight evil with. If you choose to draw and fire it, it will return and strike you instead. We must resist the temptation to take and wield this power, but must instead allow and pursue it’s destruction, so that none may wield it again.

The true battle we must fight can only be won at the local level, where the conservative power is strongest. The more centralized an approach we take, the more we fail. Power must be removed from federal hands and placed back into the hands of the people. It is the only way.

wearyman on September 6, 2011 at 8:53 AM

GREAT analogy!

fossten on September 6, 2011 at 10:25 AM

There is a real reason not to have the federal government involved in education at all: It’s called THE CONSTITUTION.
gryphon202 on September 6, 2011 at 9:26 AM

Setting standards would fit comfortably under interstate commerce, but Federal funding of education is right out of left field as far as I can tell.

Count to 10 on September 6, 2011 at 10:31 AM

Setting standards would fit comfortably under interstate commerce, but Federal funding of education is right out of left field as far as I can tell.

Count to 10 on September 6, 2011 at 10:31 AM

Jesus H. Christ…haven’t we been through this before?! “Interstate commerce” as a catch-all is for liberals. Go back to Berkeley where they swallow that crap.

gryphon202 on September 6, 2011 at 10:40 AM

If you can justify “standards” with interstate commerce, you can justify funding with interstate commerce. Since the constitution’s plain text says nothing about education funding, education standards, or education at all, save the “interstate commerce” baloney. We’ve heard it all before.

gryphon202 on September 6, 2011 at 10:44 AM

Education is a local function. It starts with parents. If parents fail to get the job done, it’s the state’s responsibility act in the manner its residents desire.

There is no “one size fits all” solution. It’s all one on one. The Feds are destined to fail.

EconomicNeocon on September 6, 2011 at 10:51 AM

We have no need for nationalized education. This is a new creation

Because of all the federal funding programs, which come with strings attached, a bureaucracy has been created to determine whether local schools are worthy of receiving funds confiscated from the locals by the federal government.

To get their own money back, they must obey

The system does not improve students, but the poor educational results are used as evidence the system must be expanded, not discarded

The takeover has been driven by the fear the locals might not educate their children in a manner preferred by the State

This is the reason we need full local control and funding. If a top-down federal education system, if the top is incompetent, there is no recourse. In locally controlled educatinal systems, there is a chance for any one system to suceed.

We need variety, not uniformity. Variety is the key to survival of the species. Uniformity is the road to total failure

I heard a radio caller last night describe Bachmann as another Thatcher. She is in the sense she does not waffle on her conservative ideas. We need someone with the spine to admit the emperor has no clothes. Too bad Rollins took over her campaign. That was her downfall

entagor on September 6, 2011 at 11:11 AM

Abolishing the Department of Education might sound like an ultra-conservative pipe dream — and anything but advisable in the Information Age, when education is key to global competitiveness

I this DailyKos??????

faraway on September 6, 2011 at 9:28 AM

I know. It seems a little out of touch. But I think the bias might be youth; Korbe doesn’t see Carter as a bad memory or something, but more like I see FDR. History, man, history.

And this bit keeps coming up:

advisable in the Information Age, when education is key to global competitiveness

– the DOE is NOT America’s schools. As silly as feels to say this explicitly, ending the DOE is not ending America’s education system.

Axe on September 6, 2011 at 11:19 AM

…the DOE is NOT America’s schools. As silly as feels to say this explicitly, ending the DOE is not ending America’s education system.

Axe on September 6, 2011 at 11:19 AM

Anymore than starting the DOE started America’s education system. I was actually born before the establishment of the DOE, so I feel well-qualified to point this out.

gryphon202 on September 6, 2011 at 11:22 AM

Jesus H. Christ…haven’t we been through this before?! “Interstate commerce” as a catch-all is for liberals. Go back to Berkeley where they swallow that crap.
gryphon202 on September 6, 2011 at 10:40 AM

Maybe you misunderstand what I mean by “setting standard”: I don’t mean standards for schools so much as standards for what graduating from one of them requires. It is inefficient to have a high school deploma mean fifty different things depending on what state you graduated in. Frankly, it makes those diplomas basically worthless, and that is how things stand right now, even as the federal government micromanages the classroom. The nationwide standards I am talking about are not for how the schools teach, but would be instead about how they hand out deplomas (and I think there should be many different kinds of high school diplomas in the same way that there are many kinds of college diplomas).

Count to 10 on September 6, 2011 at 11:27 AM

The nationwide standards I am talking about are not for how the schools teach, but would be instead about how they hand out deplomas (and I think there should be many different kinds of high school diplomas in the same way that there are many kinds of college diplomas).

Count to 10 on September 6, 2011 at 11:27 AM

So the question stands. Where is the authority in the constitution to do this? I wouldn’t be opposed on-principle to amending the constitution in order to give the federal government this authority (even though I don’t think they should have it at all), but let me explain this to you very carefully. And I promise I’ll type real slowly:

The federal government does not currently have this authority. Period. End-of-story. It doesn’t exist.

Every tyranny starts out with “good ideas.”

gryphon202 on September 6, 2011 at 11:31 AM

Every tyranny starts out with “good ideas.”

gryphon202 on September 6, 2011 at 11:31 AM

Mostly for the children, too.

You hate children, don’t you?

/

Axe on September 6, 2011 at 11:38 AM

Mostly for the children, too.

You hate children, don’t you?

/

Axe on September 6, 2011 at 11:38 AM

Oh yeah. I hate ‘em. With a passion. Which is why I don’t have any of my own yet.///////////////////

Seriously. Why we even “need” something that we didn’t have before a year after I was born is utterly beyond me. It rings hollow. The argument is disingenuous in the first degree.

gryphon202 on September 6, 2011 at 11:44 AM

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION – Get rid of it – let the states determine their own Education programs.
POST OFFICE – Cut delivery to M/W/F for regular mail Post offices should have hours 7 days a week.
DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY – Get rid of it. It’s done nothing but make energy more scarce and more expense.
EPA – Cut it by 2/3 with only specific environmental focus.
AGRICULTURE – Get rid of it. Let the states determine their agricultural plans. I own a farm and take no subsidies.
EVERY OTHER AGENCY SHOULD BE EVALUATED to be eliminated or cut.

NO PRESIDENT SHOULD BE ABLE TO HAVE CZARS. Obama has Czars that are duplications of existing agencies. And the name Czar has no place in our Government.

IlonaE on September 6, 2011 at 11:49 AM

IlonaE on September 6, 2011 at 11:49 AM

Only thing I would add to that is, eliminate the federal charter under which the USPS functions. It’s a failing monopoly.

gryphon202 on September 6, 2011 at 11:52 AM

So the question stands. Where is the authority in the constitution to do this? I wouldn’t be opposed on-principle to amending the constitution in order to give the federal government this authority (even though I don’t think they should have it at all), but let me explain this to you very carefully. And I promise I’ll type real slowly:
The federal government does not currently have this authority. Period. End-of-story. It doesn’t exist.

Every tyranny starts out with “good ideas.”
gryphon202 on September 6, 2011 at 11:31 AM

Setting a clear standard on what a high school diploma means is clearly as within the scope of the commerce clause as the FDA. Your level of education is an important part of your personal capital, and unless you plan to work in the same state all of your life, it will be a part of interstate commerce. Heck, even if you did stay in the same state, you will probably be doing business with people from there states.
Now, this is not to say that a state couldn’t have it’s own separate certifications, but there really should be a national certification of your high school diploma.

Count to 10 on September 6, 2011 at 12:01 PM

The DOE is absolutely essential – to keeping the FAILED system of union schools we have now!

Big Gubmint will always seek the lowest common denominator for its unionist Marxist donors.

HammerNH on September 6, 2011 at 12:08 PM

Now, this is not to say that a state couldn’t have it’s own separate certifications, but there really should be a national certification of your high school diploma.

Count to 10 on September 6, 2011 at 12:01 PM

There is no getting through to you. *sigh*

gryphon202 on September 6, 2011 at 12:10 PM

Tina, it really is not in the Constitution. At the time the Constitution was drafted education was at home or in local schools arranged by the local parents. It was not even a “state” thing.

It should probably be purely a city thing with the state doing nothing more than maybe an equalization board function.

We’ve had decades of state controlled education and later of Federally controlled education. It is failing us very badly.

Maybe we should retreat to what worked? We certainly should get rid of the Federal nose in the tent.

{^_^}

herself on September 6, 2011 at 12:14 PM

Public Education works best when it is controlled at the lowest level of government possible. Federal “one size fits all” does not work and wastes milion$. Whats good for PS 101 in NY is not necessarily good for Boise, Idaho.

Bevan on September 6, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Dismantling the DOE should be an objective for any candidate that wants my vote.

RDE2010 on September 6, 2011 at 12:21 PM

I have always wondered why people believe that adding a Federal bureaucracy would make education better. It doesn’t, it makes it worse.

Today we are spending more money than ever before and the education system is horrible. The Democrats only answer is to throw more money at the problem. In all fairness, that is their answer for everything.

jeffn21 on September 6, 2011 at 12:45 PM

(and I think there should be many different kinds of high school diplomas in the same way that there are many kinds of college diplomas)

I love that idea.

But it need have nothing to do with the federal bureaucracy. A completely privatized education system would implement just such standards and specializations out of necessity. And the standards and specializations would create their own enterprise as well.

I wish I could convince technocrats that the good things they envision more or less require a free market, and if they would just give up top-down command and control, most of their technocracy would just appear. I can’t. They seem to have a bend I think of as Academic, and “experts attending to the various matters of life” seems to be knotted up with all the bad governing and economic ideas of the last century.

Axe on September 6, 2011 at 12:47 PM

it is being discussed they be removed from membership

That is a baseless accusation insinuating that expelling members is her idea. State your sources or head back to kos, troll.

peacenprosperity on September 6, 2011 at 12:45 AM

First, I am not a troll and your remark is without any judgement or knowledge.

Why don’t you include the post info, instead of taking a partial sentence out? I post a lot on the various threads and have no time to search for the post you are referring to. Do that and when I have time, I’ll give you some info on MB that you evidently have not taken the time to find out. Or better yet, do some research.

bluefox on September 6, 2011 at 12:49 PM

Setting a clear standard on what a high school diploma means is clearly as within the scope of the commerce clause as the FDA

Count to 10 on September 6, 2011 at 12:01 PM

… but, you gotta be Stretch Armstrong to make that reach.

Axe on September 6, 2011 at 12:59 PM

Michelle has been given the Palin treatment and considering the reaction of many so called Republican Conservatives, it has worked. I believe that Michelle is the most Conservative of all the individuals running including Gov. Perry. I have to agree with her about the DOE and not just because it is not supported constitutionally, but also because it has been used to support programs and beliefs that are opposed to many of our conservative beliefs, not to mention it is redundant. I also believe that many female Democrats will come to assist her campaign, just as they did when Hillary lost and Palin was running as VP. Plus I believe that she would make a good leader because she does not speak out of the side of her mouth or say what she thinks you want to hear like many career politicians.

Just imagine in the future the Republican party can show that they are an inclusive group that heralded in the first woman president, this will go a long way.

SGinNC on September 6, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Update: Just wanted to clarify that Bachmann is “right about the Constitution” insofar as she says that the Constitution does not explicitly enumerate education as among the responsibilities of the federal government. I do not think the Ed Department is unconstitutional — but neither is it constitutionally mandated, leaving the people with the option of determining whether education is best directed at the federal or state level.

You would be correct in this remark if it was not for the Tenth Amendment. Bachmann is absolutely correct here.

tballard on September 6, 2011 at 1:07 PM

AP (AMERICAN PRAVDA, formerly known as Associated Press)

…..is spinning the Bachmann aides leaving as “QUITING” and “LOSING MOMENTUM?”.

….they are also spinning that “only 2,600″ showed up at two Palin rallies this weekend…..and “no clue” as to her future plans.

I despise the liars of AP-American Pravda.

PappyD61 on September 6, 2011 at 1:11 PM

I have to agree with csdeven and gryphon202. I enjoy Tina’s posts, but I think her conclusion on this one is simply wrong. If you read the Federalist Papers and look at the 10th Amendment, any power not enumerated in the Constitution is retained by the states. The Constitution, as argued in the Federalist Papers (I think it was Madison), was specifically designed to be limiting in that only granted powers could be exercised and nothing else. As such, adding a non-enumerated power (such as over education) would violate the form and function of the Constitution and, therefore, be unconstitutional.

Am I missing something here?

batter on September 6, 2011 at 1:17 PM

So the question stands. Where is the authority in the constitution to do this? I wouldn’t be opposed on-principle to amending the constitution in order to give the federal government this authority (even though I don’t think they should have it at all), but let me explain this to you very carefully. And I promise I’ll type real slowly:

The federal government does not currently have this authority. Period. End-of-story. It doesn’t exist.

gryphon202 on September 6, 2011 at 11:31 AM

There are many Government departments that have no Constitutional authority. And yet they exist. Therefore, what the Constitution allows the Federal Government to do is, in reality, irrelevant. Since there is an election coming up, perhaps we would be better served with arguments that are actually relevant.

Haldol on September 6, 2011 at 1:20 PM

I enjoy Tina’s posts, but I think her conclusion on this one is simply wrong. If you read the Federalist Papers and look at the 10th Amendment, any power not enumerated in the Constitution is retained by the states. The Constitution, as argued in the Federalist Papers (I think it was Madison), was specifically designed to be limiting in that only granted powers could be exercised and nothing else. As such, adding a non-enumerated power (such as over education) would violate the form and function of the Constitution and, therefore, be unconstitutional.

Am I missing something here?

batter on September 6, 2011 at 1:17 PM

You are, as far as I can tell, missing nothing. Sentiments I would very muck like to associate myself with.

JohnGalt23 on September 6, 2011 at 1:21 PM

I need to look up the Federalist Paper references – I think Madison and Hamilton spoke of the inherent limitation of the Constitution and I think it was Madison who also argued against the Bill of Rights saying that the Constitution already addressed those rights by not specifically granting any of them to the Federal Government and by listing them as amendments, could confuse people into thinking the Fed actually had some say/power over those rights which was simply not the case at all.

FWIW, here is one quote from Federalist 45: “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined.” However, while Fed 45 does address the subject several others do too.

I really wish they would cover the Constitution and go over the Federalist Papers in High School Civics. It would solve a lot of confusion over our government. I still don’t understand why so many schools don’t cover it at all.

batter on September 6, 2011 at 1:23 PM

Therefore, what the Constitution allows the Federal Government to do is, in reality, irrelevant. Since there is an election coming up, perhaps we would be better served with arguments that are actually relevant.

Haldol on September 6, 2011 at 1:20 PM

I assume you’re being sarcastic. If not, that conclusion is exactly what the founders fought against when establishing the Constitution and said that such would be the foundation for tyranny.

batter on September 6, 2011 at 1:26 PM

violate the form and function of the Constitution

batter on September 6, 2011 at 1:17 PM

*aside* Are you a lawyer?
*aside* Have you read “Love’s Labor’s Lost?
*aside* Yes these questions make sense. I’m curious about something. Pointless, really.

There are many Government departments that have no Constitutional authority. And yet they exist. Therefore, what the Constitution allows the Federal Government to do is, in reality, irrelevant.

Haldol on September 6, 2011 at 1:20 PM

But correcting that is sort of the point for political conservatives.

Axe on September 6, 2011 at 1:28 PM

Axe on September 6, 2011 at 12:47 PM

Privatization would also be a good idea all around, but you will still need the government to enforce standards just like elsewhere.

Count to 10 on September 6, 2011 at 1:40 PM

How can you take this seriously when Bachmann and her husband avidly support the banning of homosexuality?

In any case, the DOE helps funnel money into poorer, minority districts (I know, the horror!) and keeps Texas from dropping Biology and replacing it with Crazy Nonsense.

Rainsford on September 6, 2011 at 2:01 PM

There are many Government departments that have no Constitutional authority. And yet they exist. Therefore, what the Constitution allows the Federal Government to do is, in reality, irrelevant. Since there is an election coming up, perhaps we would be better served with arguments that are actually relevant.

Haldol on September 6, 2011 at 1:20 PM

Exactly. The bottom line is who is going to do anything about it?

For example of something more recent is Obamacare. How much money has been spent by all of the Attorney Generals (26?) that have filed in Court. Until it reaches the U.S. Supreme Court, it won’t be settled. As it stands, the Administration can request a full court hearing in the last Court that the 3 panel judges ruled 3/2. Or fast track it to the Supreme Court. What is he doing? Stalling.
Anyone pushing him? If so, I haven’t heard.

Another point I’d like to make. Say, I’m B.O.’s re-election campaign manager for a moment. Do you know what I’d advise him? Get the Republicans and the MSM to talk about anything other than the Economy and Jobs. Get them to talk about the Department of Education, trade agreements, Tea Party, Perry or any of those other R’s running. I don’t care what it is, as long as it is a distraction and anything but the Economy & Jobs. Oh, B.O. did you have a suggestion? Yes, I did. Those Tea Party people are Racist. Mention that as often as you can. Yes, we can. End of pretending.

bluefox on September 6, 2011 at 2:03 PM

Privatization would also be a good idea all around, but you will still need the government to enforce standards just like elsewhere.

Count to 10 on September 6, 2011 at 1:40 PM

Ah, but you don’t, Count 10! Colleges standardize their requirements for admission, primary schools [would] standardize their requirements for graduation, and so on, all without anyone sitting at the top and requiring anything!

I have on my PC at the moment the schematics for a microATX computer case. The power supply bracket is the part I’m supposed to be working on instead of screwing around on Hot Air :) (I’m going to finish it today, I promise. God willing. Maybe not.) Anyway, the specs for the holes I need tapped are provided by the people that invented the supply standard (no government) — and I have to use them if I want anyone to be able to mount their power supply (no government enforcement). The people making the power supply will similarly make it to fit my case for the same reasons (no government enforcement). And on it goes. I have no incentive at all to make a case that won’t socket your power supply.

The g’munt might be needed where the law itself is needed, where abuses have to be identified and policed. But there is no reason to think a low quality, or non-standard, education is in the best interest of any private school.

I’m just talking.

And posting too much. Guess I’m about done.

Axe on September 6, 2011 at 2:06 PM

Axe on September 6, 2011 at 12:47 PM
Privatization would also be a good idea all around, but you will still need the government to enforce standards just like elsewhere.

Count to 10 on September 6, 2011 at 1:40 PM

The question is which government, how much government and who decides the everyday stuff of education.
It is first and foremost, the responsibility of the parent is paramount. The moral principle of Subsidiarity requires the government to avoid imposing itself into any level of society if it can be hadled at a lower level.
We did just fine with local education until the feds came in with their leftist propaganda agenda and mandates. We need to restore that. While we’re at it, we could well evalute whether a degree is needed for every minor job in the society – most jsut paying off the higher ed teacher unions with a permenent clientele

Don L on September 6, 2011 at 2:07 PM

I really wish they would cover the Constitution and go over the Federalist Papers in High School Civics. It would solve a lot of confusion over our government. I still don’t understand why so many schools don’t cover it at all.

batter on September 6, 2011 at 1:23 PM

I don’t know if you’d be interested in this course or not. If so, be sure to read the comments, as they include registration info. The course starts on 9/14/11.

I know Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin recommend this College highly.

http://mpidirect.com/free-offer-hillsdale-college-constitution-course/

bluefox on September 6, 2011 at 2:17 PM

Government works best when it is closest to the people.

paulsur on September 6, 2011 at 2:19 PM

It’s funny, back in ’08 when Ron Paul was saying the Department of Education should be abolished you pro-war neoconservatives would point at him and laugh. You gave him the “oh no, there goes crazy uncle Paul again talking about the Constitution” treatment. Now that pro-war Bachmann is saying the same thing it’s perfectly sane.

popularpeoplesfront on September 6, 2011 at 2:23 PM

How can you take this seriously when Bachmann and her husband avidly support the banning of homosexuality?

Rainsford on September 6, 2011 at 2:01 PM

I know you may think that everyone is embracing Homosexuality and everything it stands for, but this is not the case. Eventually people will overcome the fear and labels that certain groups have built and the pendulum will swing they other way. Always has, always will.

SGinNC on September 6, 2011 at 2:36 PM

The DOE proves its worth every year by the caliber of students graduating with the equivalent of a 6th grade education. Only the overacheievers who don’t rely on the DOE actually learn something. Proper engish, spelling, grammar, and punctuation go a long way, but is rarely evident. The schools now continually demand more education funding, but that money is primarily used for laptops, and now iPads in the classroom. More attention is given to toys than to proper education. My era did just fine with hand-me-down class books, so maybe it’s time to take a step backwards and reinvent education without the government’s help. We can see how smart they are…

stacman on September 6, 2011 at 2:37 PM

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