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Letter: Education and keeping the federal government away

Published: Friday, Feb. 21, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

Why the Kane County Chronicle uses mostly Bloomberg for its opinions page content is beyond me. How about a little balance here? There are news outlets that do not land on the left side of the political spectrum. Why not offer both sides?

Take the Feb. 12 column (from Bloomberg News, of course) entitled "Stop the Politics and adopt the Common Core." To quote the article, “Opposition voices are growing ... as new assessments show students aren’t performing as well as they had on easier state tests ... .”

A few paragraphs later the article states, “Contrary to the claims by opponents who say we’re taking away local control of curriculum, how educators teach the standards is entirely up to them.”

There is a maxim in education: What is tested is what is taught. Teachers will be forced to teach what will be on the tests or risk failure and possible loss of funds and maybe even lose their job. If you want to ensure something will be taught, just require a test on it. This is a backdoor approach to creating a curriculum set by the federal government. I doubt the idea of small, limited, constitutional government will be one of the test questions.

In fact, the word education does not appear in the constitution. Considering the constitution specifically spells out what the federal government may and may not do, it is clearly unconstitutional for the federal government to be involved in education. 

When education was left to the local schools and parents collaborated with teachers as to what would and would not be taught, we had an excellent educational system. At the time the constitution was adopted, literacy among American citizens in certain parts of the country was nearly 100 percent, according to  Today, reports state that 19 percent of high school grads can’t read. If you want excellence in education, keep the federal government away. 

Jeff Lonigro

St. Charles

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