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Education Reform

The surest way to reform American education is to take it out of the hands of lawmakers.

The surest way to reform American education is to take it out of the hands of lawmakers.

Lawmakers can be a lowlife bunch, whose primary concern is themselves, and who are willing to use whatever they can tap into to further their self-image and status.

Consider the report published yesterday by Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma - a study of educational earmarks over the past ten years amounting to $2.3 billion. Let's remember that an earmark is an addendum to a bill which gains its legitimacy from the larger bill, but may have nothing whatsoever to do with that bill. It's just a cheap and slimy way of getting the taxpayers to give you what you want without having to debate your self-interest in the public square.

Over the past ten years Congress has voted $181 million in educational earmarks that were devoted to projects bearing some lawmaker's name - build a school, name a library, endow a this, fund a that, as long as it has a lawmaker's name on it. Now no one would be so vain and openly self-serving as to introduce such measures as legislation to be reviewed by a committee and subject to debate. So just tag your little legacy project onto some pal's larger bill and get your name in lights for all your district to see.

The education of our children is not well served by such self-serving ways. The sooner we remove lawmakers from American education, the sooner we may be able to get on to the real business of educational reform.

T. M. Moore
T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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