Friday, August 10, 2007

Garrett, My Mom and NCLB

In Representative Scott Garrett's latest franked mailer, it seems he's targeting the women of our District to talk about his education "reform bill", including my mom. He goes after No Child Left Behind with a vengeance, and even includes an op-ed he posted over at From forcing teachers to teach to the test; no exceptions for special needs students; no exceptions for failing to meet the guidelines in lieu of the glaring shortfalls in funding; and the added bonus of corruption; no one I've talked to likes NCLB.

What most people don't realize is that when NCLB was enacted, it was actually a reauthorization of, and amendment to, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. They think of them as separate bills, or don't realize the new requirements everyone hates were added to the programs people know. While Garrett's letter to my mom and others talked about all the NCLB failings people associate with the Bill, what he doesn't mention is what his bill is really seeking to do: defund almost the entire Department of Education.

Here's the purpose of Garrett's bill:
To allow a State to opt out of K–12 education grant programs and the requirements of those programs, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide a credit to taxpayers in such a State, and for other purposes.
And here's the key definition:
(1) The term ‘‘K–12 education grant program’’ means any grant program carried out under any title of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, except for the following:

(B) IMPACT AID.—Title VIII (20 U.S.C. 11 7701 et seq.).
As early as the 2002 Primary, Garrett was talking about ending the Department of Education. He repeated that desire at CPAC this year, even being straight forward about his desire to end Title I funding, which helps out schools with predominantly poor children. If you look at the table of contents of the entire original bill you realize just how far Garrett wants to go. None of that was brought up in the letter.

I suppose, on some level, Garrett should be given credit for being true to his word about trying to end the Department of Education. Not being truthful to the mothers of our District about the extent his Bill seeks to go is another story.

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