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@Windchasers - nothing crazy or even that I really disagree with, except for SS and one other thing:

Give states more control over K-12 education.

So Louisiana can turn all of their schools into churches? We can't give states more control AND expect to build a strong economy long-term.

Actually.. maybe we can.

First, any religious doctrine in the classroom doesn't fly, by the First Amendment. I'm not looking to change that.

I also think No Child Left Behind has been a big flop. Obviously, we don't want to impose ineffective rules on all the states.

What I want is for states or countries to act as testing grounds for new ways of educating kids. If the federal government is going to be involved in education reform at all, I'd want to see it as helping states in that role: providing grants for reform or testing new ideas. This is pretty much what the Dept of Education is already doing with the Race to the Top program*. Additionally, I'd look to reward successful education reform.

So: Grants for trying new ideas, and rewards for ideas that work.

Part Two: Once we have enough data to strongly show that one method is decisively better than another, we enforce that on the states. This keeps states like Louisiana from staying in the dark ages forever. But, since we waited until these ideas had been solidly tested in some states, it also means we're less likely to end up enforcing stupid rules that don't work.

Think of it as trial runs for programs like No Child Left Behind, instead of enforcing it on every state right out of the gate. Actually, this is not a bad way to handle a lot of federal regulations, really.


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