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The Education Liberator, Vol. 2, No. 4, May 1996

"Project 21" leaders decry feds' education disaster

Important allies moving in our direction?

The Department of Education is a massive runaway bureaucracy that should be abolished, according to the African-American leadership group Project 21, following a review of all education programs within the federal government. Project 21's chairman, Edmund Peterson, said that what the group uncovered "is a moral outrage and a national embarrassment."

According to a Project 21 news release, there are at least 760 federal education programs. Only 6 percent of these programs' primary function is to support reading, math or science. Meanwhile, student proficiency in all basic areas of learning has continued to decline since the federal government became massively involved.

"It is ridiculous that education in America has come to this," said Project 21 member Deborah Wright, director of the school choice group Californians for Educational Freedom. "These findings are yet more evidence that flies in the face of those who say if we could just spend more money things would be better."

Project 21 member Rev. Dwight Williams, pastor of the Bethel Baptist Church in Stockton, Cal., said, "These findings reinforce the necessity to eliminate the role of the federal government in education and experiment with local control ? which is in touch with the real world, unlike the bureaucrats in Washington, DC."

Editor's Comment: From the Separation point of view, it is a good sign when groups with the stature of Project 21 recognize the urgency of getting the federal government completely out of the realm of education. Project 21's leaders deserve our praise for coming to this position and taking a strong public stand on it. We must further, though, encourage them to recognize that it is not the national government per se that is the problem, but government control itself ? at any level.

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