Have you ever walked into a Best Buy to get a television but had to go through the computer department to get to the tvs, and while passing through a sales rep comes up to tell you about the latest iMac with all its great features and cross device connectivity, but after a short while another sales rep tugs at your elbow to show you the all the great things HP has added to their line of desktop processors attempting to sway your decision with talk of terabytes of memory and faster than light processing speeds, and then found yourself walking out the door with a brand new computer? Unless you completely lack personal direction, or are someone who is easily swayed by a hard sales pitch, the answer is no. You have a need, a goal and a budget to get a television. What the sales reps have to say about computers is irrelevant.
The Obama campaign released an ad attacking Romney's position on education as laid out in Ryan's proposed budget. It is quite easy to get sucked into the debate about whether class size is important, or testing, or teacher quality. Those are all quite useful debates to have, if the goal was to pick one single form of providing a public education. They are both trying to make you think that is what you came in to buy.
While some degree of uniformity is desirable (thank you mattress manufacturers for selecting 4 basic mattress sizes so that bed frame makers and linen manufacturers can reduce the number of different sizes they have to make and focus more on design variety), complete uniformity in education is both undesirable and impossible. Every student is different. Every community is different. A vision for education in America should include as much flexibility as possible, which means local control.
Neither the President, nor his Department of Education, should be deciding American education policy. Don't get sucked into the debate on the fine points.
The state oversight of private and parochial education is likely to increase slowly, especially along the lines of uniformity in statistics and records, sanitary inspection, common standards of work, and the enforcement of the attendance laws. In particular, the attitude toward the control of the child is likely to change. Each year the child is coming to belong more and more to the state, and less and less to the parent. - Ellwood P. Cubberley 1909