"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Monday, August 8, 2011

Oh, What the Heck, Let's Leave Children Behind and Let's Do It By Executive Fiat

It's no secret that teachers' unions -- the Democratic Party's strongest supporters -- didn't like the No Child Left Behind Act enacted early in the Bush administration.  Why would they want accountability?   That would interfere with what the unions are all about:  higher benefits for union members, and more power for union leaders.  

But this story has larger implications, I think:
State and local education officials have been begging the federal government for relief from student testing mandates in the federal No Child Left Behind law, but school starts soon and Congress still hasn't answered the call.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan says he will announce a new waiver system Monday to give schools a break.

The plan to offer waivers to all 50 states, as long as they meet other school reform requirements, comes at the request of President Barack Obama, Duncan said. More details on the waivers will come in September, he said.
Putting aside the continued "dumbing down" of American education, since when is it Constitutional for the Executive Branch to simply decide that duly-enacted laws are going to be "waived"?   Did I miss something in law school where the President can simply announce that certain laws are not going to be enforced?

This is a relatively small story given the current economic meltdown (Dow now down 300+ points), but it's indicative of how a country can slide into tyranny without anyone noticing.

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