Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Gov. Perry Supports States' Rights

The Houston Chronicle sure picked a nasty, opinated title for this article:

Perry won't let Texas compete for federal school money

The federal government is hanging a $700 million dollar carrot in front of needy school districts this year.  All the Texas government has to do is totally cede all local and state control of their schools and change to federal ideals.  The Governor laid out a number of valid reasons Texas in his speech and press release why we should not join the "Race to the Top" that the Chronicle just glossed over in their reporting.  Here are some quotes for you to read yourself.
I am here to announce that Texas will not apply for federal “Race to the Top” funding because our state and our communities must reserve the right to decide how we educate our children and not surrender control to the federal bureaucracy.  This program is not a “Race to the Top,” but a sprint to the middle where soaring costs and one-size-fits-all approaches will leave our children ill-equipped to compete in the global economy.

Texas’ curriculum standards, which determine what students are taught in Texas classrooms, are set by the elected State Board of Education (SBOE). The SBOE recently adopted one of the nation’s first college- and career-ready curriculum standards in core subjects after receiving widespread input from Texas education and business leaders.

...“Race to the Top” was slipped into the so-called stimulus bill.  This legislative sleight-of-hand was a cynical attempt to sidestep state protections included in the federal “No Child Left Behind” legislation passed in 2002 that prohibited the use of federal funds for the creation of national standards and tests “Race to the Top” is clearly an effort to entice states into abdicating responsibility and surrendering their legal rights in exchange for short-term, immediate funding.

While Texas could be eligible for up to $750 million in Race to the Top funding, it would cost Texas taxpayers upwards of $3 billion to realign our education system to conform to the U.S. Department of Education’s uniform vision for public education.
I totally agree with Gov. Perry that Texas should not jump onto this eternal federal mandate for a tiny one-time payment.  It's shameful that only Texas and Alaska didn't sell their soul for a couple more pennies.  I think it speaks poorly of our country.  Remember, if somebody is hanging a carrot, it means they're riding you like an ...

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