An Observation on Education and Politics

Especially in this century, education has become the focus of much political attention. Government agencies, politicians, and philanthropists are all much more influential in determining educational policy and practice than they were in previous generations. Neal McClusky, a policy analyst for the Cato Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom observed the effects of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), a law which increased the role of the federal government in education, and concluded, “the signs were clear that NCLB was just another educational reform initiative rich in rhetoric, but fundamentally bankrupt.” He used this as an example of the dangers of politically-driven educational initiatives, “by its very nature, a system of government schools for which everyone must pay but which only the most politically powerful can control is doomed to failure” (2007, 95). The politically powerful appear to be those who are the least aware of the nature of human learning.


McCluskey, Neal P. 2007. Feds in the Classroom: How Big Government Corrupts, Cripples, and Compromises American Education. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.