The column "Federal school efforts fail" by Cal Thomas printed in the July 7 edition of the Peninsula Clarion caught my attention. I usually find Mr. Thomas' views a bit too conservative for my taste; however, the point he made in this article is right on.
He states that, "state and local authority over education has been gradually usurped by the federal government." This is known by educators as the "one-size-fits-all" approach mandated by Washington. Thomas mentions these are "mandates that demand states squeeze students through standardized tests and achievement models into a mold designed by politicians and administered by bureaucrats. When these strategies fail, the government mostly does not end or change them. It throws money at them."
Granted, these mandates have raised the awareness of education and some of the funded programs have had positive effects; however, I agree with the findings of a recent study on education when it concludes that, "the federal government should drop out of education and return the money and power for instructing children to the state and individual communities."
Education is going to be a key issue in the 2004 elections. I am voting for Tony Knowles for U.S. senator because he believes that the most effective education for Alaska's children is one that will give education back to the teachers, parents and students who best understand how to educate the leaders of tomorrow.
LaDawn Druce, Soldotna
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