Hillary's Federal Education Jackboot Squad
A Commentary by Michelle Malkin
Brace yourselves, parents: Hillary Clinton's Fed Ed jackboot squad is from the government and is here to "help."
Clinton wants a cadre of new government educrats to undo the decades-old damage of old government educrats in America's worst public schools. She pitched her creepy proposal at the Democratic presidential debate in Michigan on Sunday for an "education SWAT team" to swarm down and rescue students from failing districts in decrepit cities such as Detroit (run by whom? Oh, yeah. Democrats!).
"I want to set-up inside the Department of Education, for want of a better term, kind of an education SWAT team, if you will," Clinton explained in a bizarre, semi-blaccent, "where we've got qualified people, teachers, principals, maybe folks who are retired, maybe folks who are active, but all of whom are willing to come and help."
Clinton's SWAT team solution, you should know, is like all her other authoritarian plans: a moldy, recycled oldie. In fact, the U.S. Department of Education already has a real military-like enforcement division housed in its Office of the Inspector General -- and armed with its own arsenal of Remington pump-action shotguns and Glock pistols.
As usual, Big Sis's brilliant idea to fix the schools boils down to throwing yet more money down the sinkhole. According to the latest data, America spent more than $600 billion to fund K-12 education in 2011, mostly from state and local taxes. Last year, the feds allocated an estimated $154 billion on education, with a large chunk going to Elementary and Secondary Education Act Title I Grants to Local Education Agencies, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act State Grants, and the Pell Grant program for college students.
Washington already spends more per student (nearly $13,000 per pupil) in both primary and secondary education than any other of the 34 wealthiest countries in the world except for Austria, Luxembourg, Norway and Switzerland, according to analysis of data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Under the Bush administration, the No Child Left Behind behemoth authorized $23 billion a year on intrusive and ineffective federal testing and accountability mandates.
Under the Obama administration, the feds threw $4 billion into the "Race to the Top" racket, $10 billion into an Education Jobs Fund for teachers unions, and $100 billion in pork-stuffed stimulus funding for school programs and initiatives administered by the U.S. Department of Education.
Detroit Public Schools, plagued by massive deficits, financial mismanagement and graft, collected a whopping $530 million of that stimulus slush fund -- nearly $50 million of which went to a technology boondoggle that provided 40,000 Asus laptops to students and teachers despite little evidence nationwide that such programs do anything to raise student achievement.
States are spending upwards of $10 billion to implement the bipartisan Common Core racket of testing, textbooks and technology. That's on top of the pre-existing $700 million spent by schools nationwide on other standardized tests and assessments and the $24 billion in annual spending required by the NCLB successor, the bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act.
Mo' money has only produced mo' problems. American test scores are still abysmal. One in 10 high schools remains a dropout factory. Highly touted improvements in graduation rates, such as those in Alabama, were achieved by abandoning requirements that students pass a high school exit exam.
Detroit's schools, swimming in $3.5 billion of accumulated debt, face bankruptcy in April. The district is now under FBI investigation for a vendor kickback scheme involving the very kind of "experts" -- entrenched teachers, self-serving principals, and profligate school officials -- whom Clinton would enlist to rescue the schools they are guilty of plundering.
It's government SWAT team business as usual: Destroying the village to "save" it.
Michelle Malkin is author of the new book "Who Built That: Awe-Inspiring Stories of American Tinkerpreneurs." Her email address is email@example.com.
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