The NCLB Backlash

David Broder delivers a pile of Beltway Consensus in his column today.  Broder insists that Bush fight his fellow Republicans on the Hill who have come back round to realizing that the Feds 1) Aren’t authorized by the Constitution to direct the education of the public, 2) Don’t improve education with their involvement, and 3) Just spend more money and make more trouble the more they’re involved.  Return to the consensus, he admonishes.  These folks, some of whom recently announced their legislative intentions at a Cato event, are leading what Broder refers to as a “backlash” against No Child Left Behind.

The column is rather unremarkable, but I love this closer:

“But the dissenting Republicans’ idea of letting every state set its own standards and measure its own progress is a certain way to consign many youngsters to second-class educations. And that would be a serious step backward.”

Getting a second-class education is bad, and sunny days are good!  Indeed.  But one can’t step backward if he doesn’t have the room.

The only way forward for education is to walk down the path of educational freedom. That means states putting parents back in charge of their children’s education and getting the Feds out of the issue entirely.