Monday, March 14, 2005

Whitaker Bill Finishes Off Local Control of Schools

by Debbie Pelley (click "comments" for the article)


Blogger Debbie Pelley said...

Countywide School Districts Bill by Whitaker

This bill would basically fulfill Governor Huckabee's plan outlined in 2003 legislative package in his own words, "The authority to hire and fire the superintendent will rest with the director of the State Department of Education." He fell far short in attaining his centralization and consolidation desires, and this law would be the next best bet to fulfill much of his plan. These countywide district superintendents would be political bureaucrats rather than educators and would walk right in step with the higher powers in the state who want centralized authority in order to trample the freedom of the people and tromp under our feet our Arkansas motto, “The people rule.” The countywide district superintendent would control the money and the policy of all the schools in the district. What else would be left for the people to control?

See the following quotes about the Lakeview Decision by Governor Huckabee that reveal his philosophy and why passing this countywide school district bill would fit his plans. Many other people disagree with his interpretation on Lakeview. It appears his statements fit the quote, “We believe easily that which we hope for earnestly.”

"We’ll offer a plan that will change the form of the educational delivery system and meet the Arkansas Supreme Court’s mandates. We’ll also offer a plan that morphs the current system of school districts into a system in which instructional, policy, administrative and support services are efficiently and effectively delivered within a centralized network? This new structure, while initially preserving every existing elementary school, will require the closure of many secondary schools, primarily those serving students in grades 9-12 where the state finds the most operational and academic inefficiencies."

"In essence, local control of public schools was eliminated when the Supreme Court issued its ruling in November."

" For the first time, the state rather than local school districts is being held directly responsible for all aspects of our children's education."

"Powers that traditionally were given to local superintendents will now be handled at the regional and state levels." (Huckabee alleges in his written plan Exact Quotes):

Then Huckabee makes a most astounding statement “We must make them [changes which includes consolidation not only because it’s the thing we’re required to do but also because it’s the right thing to do.” He further says, “Ill admit there are things here that we probably wouldn’t have had either the political courage or the political capital to address absent the Supreme Court ruling.

We offer a plan today that changes the educational delivery system so we can meet the Supreme Court's mandate. The plan transforms a system of 310 school districts -- which have unaffordable and duplicated instructional, policy, administrative and support services costs -- into a system of 107-116 districts with those same services efficiently and effectively delivered. The result will be a more centralized administrative and governance network.

Prior to the implementation of the school reorganization plan, the state Department of Education will itself reorganize. It must maximize its role as an active senior partner with the schools rather than as an intruder or spectator.

Changes in the larger society have driven a change in the very mission of public education.

Quotes Taken from Huckabee Written Educational Plan in booklet entitled “Governor Mike Huckabee’s Legislative Agenda” January 14, 2003

8:28 PM, March 14, 2005  
Blogger Mr. Toast said...

Imagine the number of people who would be able and willing to homeschool their children if the taxes we waste on socialist education schemes were left in the pockets of the average family. Yet instead of encouraging homeschooling, one of the only current forms of education that indisputably works, we have legislators like Rep. Cook who are writing legislation designed to make homeschooling more difficult (c.f. HB2439).

Unfortunately, centralized education is not only occurring at the state level. The Bush administration is pushing the same thing at the federal level. As Mark Moore says, "No child left behind means NO child."

8:18 AM, March 15, 2005  
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