Four Failed Federal Education Reforms

Over the years, federal funding of primary and secondary education has increased, while students’ academic performance has flatlined. For instance, the high school reading and math scores on the National Assessment of Education Progress show that student performance has remained flat for the past twenty years. Recent education reform initiatives by several administrations produced, at best, minimal improvements in student performance at a high price to taxpayers. Given its track record, the federal government should get out of the education business. The four most recent federal education reforms (Foals 2000, No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top, and Common Core) have all failed.

Federal education reforms have failed to achieve their goals and failed to have a positive impact on education performance. Perhaps their failure was due to lack of funding or poor execution, but the fact remains that these excuses are made over and over again on both the federal and state level without significant improvement. Despite the federal government’s valiant attempts, a universal national curriculum leaves too many students behind. A single, unachievable standard ends up making struggling students a problem that ultimately the economy inherits. No matter how well the government makes plans to properly fund and operate an education program, it will never meet the standard and success of a private, free market system of education.

Click here to read the full publication →