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Fellowship => Parenting => Topic started by: Soldier4Christ on April 24, 2008, 03:57:03 PM

Title: Public education needs Reagan reform
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 24, 2008, 03:57:03 PM
Public education needs Reagan reform

Ed Meese, a former senior adviser to Ronald Reagan, says the former president's vision of restoring federalism and promoting school choice is still the best way to address the crisis in America's education system.

The Heritage Foundation recently held a forum to mark the 25th anniversary of Ronald Reagan's 1983 speech announcing the findings of the "A Nation at Risk" report, which pointed to a "rising tide of mediocrity" in America's public schools. In response to the report, Reagan advocated reforms such as tuition tax credits, vouchers, educational savings accounts, voluntary school prayer, and eliminating the Department of Education.
Former Attorney General Meese says Reagan recognized that just because something was a national problem, it did not require a federal solution. "Ronald Reagan's ideas were that we should do the things that were necessary, but that we should approach education as he approached other things -- with an appreciation of the limited federal role and also an appreciation of the responsibilities of local government and parents themselves," Meese points out.
According to Meese, Reagan's belief that quality schooling would result from strengthening parental choice and local control is still relevant today. Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina), similarly to Meese, laments that America's public education system has become very collectivist instead of "individual-oriented."
Speaking at an education forum at the Heritage Foundation, DeMint said America is losing ground to other countries with which it is competing because its educational model is inflexible and public schools have become completely secularized.
"Certainly we want a secular government, but when our government begins to force secularization through our society -- the real need or the ability to transfer values and character and virtue and manners, as it was often referred to by our founders -- our education system no longer has that whole component that would develop the character aspect. And we're trying to communicate knowledge and skills, in some cases, without educating the whole human being -- and that's not working," DeMint contends.
DeMint and Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) have been promoting the "A PLUS" Act, which would allow states the ability to opt out of most federal education programs if they agree to abide by federal standards, which is similar to how a charter school operates.