February 2, 2001

Lesson Plans for the Nation

“When George Bush aspires to move the world of public primary and secondary education with the lever of federal aid, he is doing the best he can, given the tool at hand and the impediments in front of him. The tool is federal money, just 7% of all spending on public education from kindergarten through 12th grade. However, the threat of losing it can be an incentive for failing schools to change their behavior. Impediments to Bush include the public school industry, and the complacency of the American majority.” –George Will

“Leave no child behind” has become George W. Bush’s education mantra, first as Governor in Texas – then on the campaign trail for president of the United States. His education reform bill, although flawed, is Mr. Bush’s effort to take control of a behemoth that has left millions of children in intellectual impoverishment.

Mr. Bush has demonstrated that he has taken suggestions from listening to both sides of the aisle in identifying shared goals for education reform. Although education comprises many complexities, treating this issue as a primary priority is in step with the beliefs of most Americans, and any successes achieved from the proposed reform agenda could end the domination of this arena by Democrats and their teacher union allies.

The Bush plan will implement serious reform in persistently failing schools. The message the education bureaucracy should understand is this: Disadvantaged students and poor performing schools will no longer be allowed to wallow in mediocrity with federal tax dollars. Schools, school districts, and states will have greater freedom in administering federal education dollars. Research-based reading programs in the early elementary grades and for low-income preschoolers, as well as strengthening math and science education, are part of the Bush framework.

States will be held accountable for improving student achievement, demonstrated through annual state assessments in reading and math for students in grades 3-8. Schools will be required to give parents needed information about how their children are doing in school. Mr. Bush’s Education Secretary, Dr. Rod Paige, while superintendent of the Houston Independent School District, had great success using testing, particularly to identify at-risk students.

Of course, conservatives are apprehensive about the national testing features of this proposal. The potential for abuse is real, and we should demand our concerns in this regard be resolved. Fortunately, in the current proposal, states are allowed to choose the tests that best match their standards and curricula.

Dr. Paige’s Houston colleague, Don McAdams, wrote in “Fighting to Save Our Urban Schools…and Winning,” “Reform is seldom about reading, writing and arithmetic. Rather it is mostly about power, status and money.” The education proposal Dr. Paige will lead puts reform solidly in the former category, in stark contrast to the previous administration’s policies, which were firmly rooted in the latter.

However, the Bush plan does not eliminate the Department of Education – once a noble and worthy Republican objective – nor does it reduce its budget. Moreover, the plan is woefully inadequate in promoting competition via charter schools and “exit vouchers” for kids “left behind” in failing schools. In the absence of any such competition, or any rollback of the unconstitutional federal role in education, even the best-laid plan would face insurmountable opposition from the staid forces of the status quo seeking to waylay any potential successes in accomplishing education reform.

As we noted above, successful reform is of paramount importance politically; success is indeed the best revenge, and success is further the best teacher, and the best test of any plan. Let’s reform the reforms, to guarantee their success … so as to guarantee the success of our children.

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

The Patriot Post and Patriot Foundation Trust, in keeping with our Military Mission of Service to our uniformed service members and veterans, are proud to support and promote the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, both the Honoring the Sacrifice and Warrior Freedom Service Dogs aiding wounded veterans, the National Veterans Entrepreneurship Program, the Folds of Honor outreach, and Officer Christian Fellowship, the Air University Foundation, and Naval War College Foundation, and the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. "Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one's life for his friends." (John 15:13)


“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

Please join us in prayer for our nation — that righteous leaders would rise and prevail and we would be united as Americans. Pray also for the protection of our Military Patriots, Veterans, First Responders, and their families. Please lift up your Patriot team and our mission to support and defend our Republic's Founding Principle of Liberty, that the fires of freedom would be ignited in the hearts and minds of our countrymen.

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2024 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.