Sunday, February 07, 2010

Rewarding failure – only in Washington ~ By Star Parker

Commentary from WorldNetDaily
By Star Parker

Posted: February 06, 2010 ~ 1:00 am Eastern

© 2010

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said recently, "Our K-12 agenda can be summed up in one word: reform."

Would were it true.

But what Mr. Duncan calls reform is indeed putting lipstick on a pig. In this case, the pig is Washington's never-changing formula for solving everything – spending ever increasing sums of taxpayers' money.

"Reform" means generating new ideas about how to spend and coming up with clever new titles for programs.

So today it's called "Race to the Top." Mr. Duncan has been handed $4.35 billion, taken out of last year's $830 billion stimulus bill, and given personal discretion for dispensing it to states that propose education reform ideas that strike his fancy. It's the largest discretionary sum ever given to an education secretary.

This past week, 40 states submitted proposals.

How do we know that Mr. Duncan can identify good ideas? We don't.

He says he likes charter schools and performance pay for teachers. He's open to new colors of lipstick that the pig has not sported before. But a pig is still a pig.

There appears not a shred of evidence that funneling more taxpayer dollars through Washington to states improves education. Data compiled by Heritage Foundation analysts shows that since 1970, federal spending per student, adjusted for inflation, has more than doubled with no discernible change in test scores.

Now a new study released by the Department of Health and Human Services shows that the Head Start program – the federal program started in 1965 aimed at getting pre-school low-income children prepared for school – has no impact.

Some $166 billion of federal funds has been poured into Head Start. Yet this new study shows that first graders who have been through the program perform essentially the same as those who haven't.


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