Monday, March 26, 2007

Amendment X

Somebody done pushed my button. (And my husband is no doubt thankful for my blog, as he won't have to endure the tirade once again.)

I feel the need to shout: THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS NO RIGHT TO MAKE LAWS CONCERNING EDUCATION! Ahem. Well, now. That released a little energy, but I'm still mad. So here it goes.

United States Constitution, Amendment X: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

Very clearly stated. Anything not specifically listed in the Constitution as belonging to the federal (national) government; AND anything not specifically kept from the states - belongs to the states, or to the people. Apparently "the people" have allowed the federal government to usurp their control over education.

A top Yahoo story brings this issue back to the forefront today. It's taken from Tennessee, but it could be set in just about any state. The article is called 'More Teachers Push for Civics Education'.

"Since the federal No Child Left Behind law was passed in 2002, schools have focused on reading and math, and that has squeezed out other subjects like arts, music and civics, educators say. So lawmakers in Tennessee and other states have proposed bills this year to save civics."

States all over the country have standardized tests now to meet the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act. In Virginia, we call them Standards of Learning (SOLs). Most teachers will tell you they are teaching to the test. They don't have time to teach anything outside of what MIGHT be on that test. If the students don't pass the test, it reflects poorly on the teacher. The states, like Tennessee, must now scramble to require subjects that previously were considered core curriculum.

This is just one example of many. It isn't all tied to the NCLB Act either. It's about the federal government overstepping it's rights. Education is a state power and the states should reclaim that right. Maybe if civics wasn't being "squeezed out", more politicians would know about Amendment X.

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