Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels on Education Reform

Governor Daniels speaks on education reforms in his state. Many new and good ideas here. We think it important to point out two things. First, Mr. Daniels speaks positively of Arne Duncan. No self-respecting educator should listen to this man, he knows little about education and has no experience other than a short stint as head of the entire Chicago Public School System. Second, Governor Daniels seems to be OK with the Federal Department of Education. We here at CTA are not, and no constitution loving conservative should be.



Filed under Education Reform, Videos

3 responses to “Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels on Education Reform

  1. They jury is still out on Governor Daniel’s changes (can’t call them reforms because they aren’t yet improvements). Research tells us his call for more charter schools and vouchers will do nothing to improve student achievement. Ending tenure just demonstrates his lack of understanding about what tenure is and isn’t.

    As for the Department of Education. It isn’t unconstitutional. The “necessary and proper clause” allows for this type of federal agency. I agree; the agency is too involved in local education decisions. I wouldn’t oppose down-sizing it, and I’m a liberal Democrat.

    You take on Duncan is accurate.

    • Howard, thanks for your response. Saw your website, it’s clear your political perspective, but we do appreciate you swinging by and engaging in the dialogue. We posted the Daniels’ video primarily because it is some of the most sweeping reforms at the state level yet. We were not taking an official position of support, but it doesn’t seem you are making that accusation.

      We disagree with your interpretation of the “necessary and proper clause” of Art. 1, Sect. 8. The Federal Department of Education is a violation of the 10th amendment. It also goes against the construction of our entire concept of governance in America. America is meant to be governed from the bottom-up. Meaning we only delegate responsibilities up the chain when we can no longer address them at the local level. Education is one thing that can be clearly be addressed at the local level, which negates any need for Federal control. We believe that American’s are citizens of their county, city, state, and then country. Not the other way around. We expend huge amounts of energy at the national level on an issue that should be addressed at the local and state levels. This is not to see we should not collaborate and work with other people from other states on education, we just don’t need the Federal Department of Ed. pulling the levers.

      School districts currently are living on debt. We are creating a dependent drug addict in our local school districts. America is trillions of dollars in debt and it could be argued that because the Federal Department of Education is not necessary (can be addressed at the local level), it’s an unneeded expense. If we prioritize spending in the direction it should be, that pushes the Federal Department of Education to be completely payed for by debt spending. There’s no real tax dollars that go to it, because all of the other areas are currently eating up that money. This is absurd, a waste of money, and prevents the states and local school districts from innovating.

      We appreciate your willingness to say that it should be down-sized. HR 1891 is coming out of committee and will eliminate numerous duplicative programs at the federal level. Please come back, we look forward to hearing and discussing your different perspective.

  2. First, as a passionate supporter of public education, it’s important for me to engage in dialogue about American education with all interested parties no matter points of view. Education is the great equalizer. Our system of universal public education is what makes our nation unique. It is the backbone of our American democracy.

    With that said, some counter-points to your response.

    Unfortunately, for both our points of view, the “Tenth Amendment” and the “Necessary and Proper Clause” conflict, leaving both of our positions subject to judicial interpretation. My position rests on some history. As you know, before the Constitution became the supreme law of the land, the nation was a confederation of states as established by the Articles of Confederation. Your bottom-up philosophy is a more appropriate fit for that model of government.

    That model did not work well. The central government was too weak requiring the need for a stronger central (federal) government system. Hence, the type of government established by the Constitution was ratified despite significant opposition.

    It is clear there is plenty of precedents for the federal government to expand its delegated powers when necessary and proper. Although I agree there is probably no need for the Department of Education; there is a need for the protection of students with special needs. Given the costs associated with educating these students, it is necessary for federal involvement. Any federal mandate should be fully funded by the feds.

    Your discussion of our national debt has nothing to with education. In its simplest form, the federal government doesn’t balance it’s budget in “real” time. That’s another issue for another discussion.

    I can’t speak for other states, but in New York, school districts don’t live on debt. Our schools, by law, must have balanced budgets every year. Schools in New York have very little debt unrelated to capital expenses, which makes financial sense.

    Finally, we actually have a lot in common related to federal involvement in education. I’m very comfortable with down-sizing the federal intervention in education. For instance, Race-to-the-Top is an inappropriate federal approach to education. It is truly a waste of money in many ways, the least of which is it is “one-shot” revenue.

    As the education debate continues, I sure we’ll have many opportunities for spirited discussion.

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