Advice on Federal Rules: Don’t Take the Money

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To the Editor:

I am a longtime reader of Education Week. Throughout my career, I have directed programs in public schools and taught at several universities. I am sometimes amazed, often amused, and occasionally mad as hell as I read the Commentaries you publish. However, I also try to understand that the individual authors with whom I might disagree are writing from their own viewpoints and knowledge bases.

The continuing rash of articles and complaints about the No Child Left Behind Act and other federal laws and programs is most disturbing. Generally, I read behind an author’s words to find the subtext: They want the federal funding, but on their own terms, and what they think are appropriate rules.

I’d like to suggest that all of these folks take another look at the U.S. Constitution and the amendments to that document, specifically the 10th Amendment. It would also help them to read books such as The Framers of the Constitution. They might discover that the framers did not include the word “education” anywhere in the document. In the 10th Amendment, in fact, it is clearly pointed out that what is not covered in the Constitution is the right of the states.

In other words, if you don’t want to accept what the federal government proposes educationally, don’t take the money that comes with it.

Paul E. Wilson
Longwood, Fla.

Vol. 24, Issue 09, Page 43

Published in Print: October 27, 2004, as Advice on Federal Rules: Don’t Take the Money

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