Wenstrup: Federal Legislation Empowers Local Educators
Parents, teachers, and students may soon see greater local direction in education decisions if the House of Representatives’ H.R. 5, the Student Success Act, becomes law....Read More
One of our greatest responsibilities is educating future generations. Unfortunately, while the United States is one of the leaders in spending on education, our outcomes most closely resemble countries that spend far less. That demonstrates that funding alone will not guarantee a quality education. I support increased parental involvement, flexibility and local control in education. I believe that parents and teachers, not the federal government, know what’s best for their children. I also support increased opportunities for school choice, including policies that support those who wish to home school, so that children can have access to an education that best fits their individual learning needs.
In the 113th Congress, I signed a letter to Education Secretary Arne Duncan to express my concerns with the Department of Education’s role in coercing states to adopt Common Core standards.
I believe that Common Core will lead to ever-increasing federal control over our education system. The Obama Administration’s Race to the Top Fund, a $4.35 billion competitive grant program, enticed states to adopt the common K-12 standards before they even existed. This use of grant money has given the federal government, which provides only ten percent of funding for education, an oversized role in the decision-making process. I have serious concerns that this federal overreach will strip parents and taxpayers of their control over academic content, standards, and testing.
At the same time, Common Core’s one-size-fits-all standards will damage our ability to address the varied needs of our students. Each student deserves to have an education that prepares them for college or a career. I represent a diverse constituency in Southern Ohio, however, and I understand that success cannot be measured by a national test. Parents, local school boards, and the state can best define the rigorous academic standards that will equip students to succeed in their chosen field, including farming, manufacturing, or a profession requiring a college degree. Furthermore, implementation of Common Core Standards will burden schools that are already facing considerable financial and administrative pressures.
As your representative in Congress, I will work to confront the federal overreach that threatens our education system and to promote a balanced partnership between parents, local school boards, and states that provides a first-rate education for our children.