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School choice, not more government micromanagement

Brookings Institution

James Campbell's idea of K-12 school reform is to take three colossal failures in top-down education management and double-down on them ("Three Steps for better schools," Jan. 8).

Rewriting the No School Left Behind Act will only further kill local initiative and innovation after either congressional reauthorization or Obama backdoor lawmaking via "waivers" results in still even more oppressive mandates being heaped on local schools. Pouring federal taxpayer money into universal implementation of the Common Core standards will yield no improvement in student achievement, as a Brookings Institution study showed with fact and logic. And as for using government power to "make schools more diverse," do we really need to relive the fiasco of racial-balance busing?

Educational choice is the proven alternative to governmental micromanagement. Rates of literacy and graduation have gone up when parents are afforded the power to choose their children's schools. Parent trigger laws and education savings accounts are the kinds of steps needed to spark true reform of American schools from the grass-roots up.

Robert Holland, Chicago

The writer is a senior fellow for education policy at The Heartland Institute.

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