No Education without Representation: how special interests are robbing our students’ futures

The U.S. Education Department’s National Center for Educational Statistics on Tuesday released what it calls the Nation’s Report Card. The compilation of student test scores nationwide reflected a 1 percent improvement by fourth- and eighth-graders in mathematics but essentially no improvement in reading proficiency.

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While the tiny improvement in math marks the highest scores in the history of the test, what makes the results troubling is that only 40 percent of fourth-graders and barely 35 percent of eighth-graders tested proficient in math and roughly one-third proficient in reading.

Shortly after the release of the Nation’s Report Card, Michelle Rhee, an education reformer and former head of the public schools in the District of Columbia, called me to discuss the state of education in the United States and what ought to be done to improve public schools. Rhee made headlines for her tough, data-driven approaches to education reform and battles against teachers unions in D.C. which eventually led to her resignation after unions spent significant resources to unseat Mayor Adrian Fenty, who hired Rhee. Rhee also was featured in the acclaimed education reform documentary “Waiting for ‘Superman.'”

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(Brian Calle is an Opinion Columnist and Blogger for the Orange County Register. His blog is called Uncommon Ground.)


  1. Abolish the Dept.of Education. States take it back. The children might actually be a priority then. Remove the unfit Gov.Brown whom is putting sick,twisted programs in place.

    • Virginia Fuller · Pinole, California
      I agree with you Tina.
      What students/parents need is not lobbyists to advocate on their behalf. They chose and choose their advocate, every two years, (if they choose to go to the ballot boxes) and cast their votes. Why then are they not represented by someone who they have voted to return into office 18 times? That’s because they are passive participants and squander their voting rights, that others gave their lives for, for us to determine our destiny, including the quality of education for our selves and for our children.
      Case in point; Rep. George Miller has been in office, representing my district for more then 37 years. He is Chair of the Federal Dept. of Education & Labor, and yet, in his own district, you will find many of the worst performing and dangerous schools in the nation. Unemployment is highest among Blacks, yet he is so confident of getting their vote, that he managed to have have is finger in the “Fair Redistricting” process, and holding on to all the predominantly minority populated cities; even though, the new district is not in keeping with the letter of the law and redistricting guidelines.
      As if all that isn’t enough of dereliction of his duties to his constituents, he is now also complicit in bilking all taxpayers out of their hard earned dollars.
      And if I don’t unseat him next year, he will return to office and continue to do what he does best, i.e. Screwing the American people.

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