May 10, 2011

Fighting the Centralizers

National politics tends to frame every debate.

Or, perhaps I should say "mis-frame" every debate. Trouble is, there's this tendency to make a "federal case" out of everything.

Politicians seem driven to add on bureaucracies and taxes and programs, rather than root around government to repeal programs that aren't working. More failed programs beget more failed programs.

We witness this, these days, in the debate over medicine. The drive to centralize is strong, seemingly irresistible.

But centralization rarely accomplishes what people hope for it.

K-12 public schooling has been systematically centralized first at state levels, and then, increasingly, at the federal level.

"Closing the Door on Innovation" is a broad-spectrum, trans-partisan attack upon the very idea of (as well as recent calls for) a national curriculum. Its sponsors know that calls for increasing centralized control over what kids learn in our public schools only sounds good as sound bites. In practice, centralization strangles innovation and closes off diversity in schooling.

I encourage you to read the manifesto. Sign it. In my opinion, the further we place our kids' educations out of the hands of parents and into the hands of bureaucrats and politics, the worse things will get.

It is decentralization that should be our watchword. Let's add it to our political agenda.

And let's teach it to our kids. They could use a good education, after all, one good concept at a time.

This is Common Sense. I'm Paul Jacob.

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Paul Jacob is President of Citizens in Charge and Citizens in Charge Foundation, which sponsors both Common Sense and Paul's weekly Townhall Column. The opinions expressed in Common Sense are Paul Jacob's and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Citizens in Charge or Citizens in Charge Foundation.


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