What could an affirmative Congressional education policy look like?

September 29, 2010 •

This week in The Education Gadfly Michael Petrilli and Chester Finn ask whether a Republican Congress would be good for school reform. They write:

Consider the recent comments, in an Education Week interview, of Representative John Kline of Minnesota, an intelligent, patriotic and hard-working lawmaker who would likely chair the education committee in a Republican House.

He told the newspaper that he wants to put “some meaning back into local control” when reauthorizing ESEA. He’s watching the Common Core State Standards “very closely,” warning that if the feds get involved in “putting in a de facto national curriculum,” his “caucus will rebel.” And he wouldn’t support an extension of Race to the Top, which he sees as too prescriptive. “This is the U.S. Department of Education putting [out its] view of what needs to be done…It’s not the states deciding. It’s not local control.”

So: Would it be possible for a more pro-active, assertive, Congressional education policy to in fact be less intrusive (or prescriptive)?

Image: Rep. John Kline (R-MN)