The 1979 law by which the U.S. Department of Education is authorized in its current form clearly prohibits these activities. It states (in section 103b): “No provision of a program administered by the Secretary or by any other officer of the Department shall be construed to authorize the Secretary or any such officer to exercise any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum, program of instruction, administration, or personnel of any educational institution, school, or school system, over any accrediting agency or association, or over the selection or content of library resources, textbooks, or other instructional materials by any educational institution or school system, except to the extent authorized by law.”
Historically, national control of education has come up as an issue about once every ten to fifteen years. In the past, it has usually produced a lot of fireworks but burned out pretty quickly. This year is very different. The nationalizers have learned from their past mistakes; they understand now that the American people don’t want the federal government to control schools. So they’ve adopted clever tactics to disguise what they’re doing and misdirect public attention, and as a result, they are already dangerously close to getting everything they want.
The Department of Education is forbidden by law from developing a national curriculum. This reflects the clear judgment of the people and their congressional representatives, expressed forcefully on all the previous occasions when this issue has come up, against handing over control of education to a single national body.
A coalition of educational and other leaders released “Closing the Door on Innovation,” which opposes this stealth campaign to impose a single curriculum and a single test on the nation’s schools. The over 100 signatories include numerous leaders in the education world, as well as such nationally known figures as Abigail and Stephan Thernstrom, Shelby Steele, Richard Epstein, and Edwin Meese.
You can read it and add your signature at www.k12innovation.com.