The Obama administration’s Race to the Top program presents states with a choice: adopt national standards for academic performance, or refuse desperately-needed federal dollars. The problem? National standards only standardize mediocrity, while taking power over educational choices out of the hands of parents and local school boards and transferring it to the cumbersome and often misled bureaucracy of Washington. Recent scandal over the corrupt and ineffectual Head Start program goes to show how ill-equipped the federal government is at directly administering a national school program; while the Obama administration’s shameless torpedoing of the wildly successful and popular DC Opportunity Scholarship Program is an example of how Washington power politics can blast sensible and much-needed reform fostered by local communities.
In this week’s Heritage in Focus podcast, domestic policy analyst Lindsey Burke discusses the problems inherent in national standards. Listen to the podcast here. Also on the Heritage audio page, Executive Director of DC Parents for School Choice, Virginia Walden Ford discusses the rise and fall and future hope of the DC Opportunity Scholarship program in an XM-Sirius radio interview. Listen in here.