Radio Commentary

The Evil of Two Lessers

t’s too bad Democrats and Republicans aren’t willing to engage in a real debate about education in our country. Neither party seems willing to propose and vote on far-reaching, meaningful education reform.

The Democrats are easy—they’re a wholly-owned subsidiary of the National Education Association teacher union, which opposes any and all significant education reform proposals. A Democrat is more likely to say a nice thing about Newt Gingrich than endorse real education reforms. And while Republicans portray themselves as advocates of reform, they don’t put their votes where their mouths are. In the end, GOP-ers always buckle to the criticism that any change in the education status quo will harm "the children."

Such was the case in the session of Congress that just ended. Republicans enjoy majorities in both houses of Congress, but pushed through no school choice bills and deferred to the White House’s misguided scheme for national testing standards.

The situation is just as bad—and maybe even worse—here in Nevada. A Reno Gazette-Journal poll back in May revealed that a majority of legislators in our state support unproductive "reform" measures such as class-size reduction and, of course, more overall spending. The truth is both parties pass the buck on reforming our system of education. Political courage is hard to find these days, but education seems to bring out the worst kind of gutlessness in the men and women we’ve sent to both Washington and Carson City. The NEA is the most powerful union in the country, and its huge political war chest ensures that legislators at both state and federal levels seldom even vote on innovative education reforms.  u


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