Democrats versus reform

Like Maryland Governor Bob Erhrlich (see below), President Bush has some serious proposals for educational reform. Here, Deborah Simmons of the Washington Times discusses his proposal to give states and parents greater control over early childhood educational programs, and the resistance he faces from Democrats and special interest groups that want to cling to the federally mandated Head Start approach. According to Simmons, studies show that, although solid learning may occur in Head Start programs, whatever academic acumen Head Start students bring into the classroom as kindergarteners or first-graders is too often lost by third or fourth grade. President Bush would like to address this problem by giving individual school districts and families more say in intergrating what is taught to pre-schoolers with the overall educational program of the particular school district. But this common-sense approach would mean less federal control. Thus it may prove unacceptable to Democrats.


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