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School of Education Alumni News

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Op-ed co-authored by UW alum Paige argues for abolition of Department of Education

January 17, 2017

In an op-ed published by the Los Angeles Times, UW-Madison alumnus Mark Paige and co-author Bruce Meredith argue that it’s time to dismantle the U.S. Department of Education.

Mark Paige
Paige
Paige earned a master’s (2006) and Ph.D. (2011) from the School of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, and also graduated from the university’s Law School in 2007. Today, he is an assistant professor of public policy at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. Meredith is former general counsel to the NEA-affiliated Wisconsin Education Association Council.

The two argue that the Department of Education has too often served political, and not educational, interests -- and it’s time to give local districts more control.

Paige and Meredith point to the failure of the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act, which they write, “erroneously presumed that Congress and the department — not local education agencies — understood how best to address schooling for high-needs learners. It’s the locals, however, who have real advantages in helping such students.”

The two conclude their op-ed: “Washington has a role to play in education. The federal government alone is positioned to prevent ‘local control’ from becoming a pretext for discrimination. It also must maintain funding to schools and colleges. But  … after 40 years of top-down, politically tinged intrusion, it’s possible to imagine a more collaborative, less rigid relationship between our schools and the national government. Abolishing the Education Department is a good place to start.”

Make sure and read the entire op-ed for free on this Los Angeles Times webs page.

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