CCTV.com - CNTV English - CCTV News

Federal or state, that is the question for Obama's education plan

08-10-2010 17:08 BJT

by Matthew Rusling

WASHINGTON, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama recently defended Race to the Top, a 4-billion-dollar plan that aims at reforms from kindergarten to 12th grade, calling it the single most important initiative the administration has taken to date.

Proponents call the plan a much-needed solution to a patchwork system in which some public schools are top notch while others trail far behind.

Critics, however, say the ambitious plan grants too much power to the federal government and deprives states of the ability to enact local policies more in tune with students' needs.

Obama said the states, educators and reformers, for the most part, have responded with great enthusiasm to this promise of excellence.

"But I know there's also been some controversy about Race to the Top. Part of it, I believe, reflects a general resistance to change," Obama said in a recent speech. "We get comfortable with the status quo even when the status quo isn't good. We make excuses for why things have to be the way they are. And when you try to shake things up, some people aren't happy."

Some experts said the government had no choice but to take action now as some schools are so bad.

"Schools are so bad in some places, especially inner city schools, that somebody had to do something," said Ron Haskins, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and former White House and congressional advisor.

Critics said that while some schools do need to be revamped, the solution lies at the state rather than the federal level.

"The people in Washington are furthest away from the students and the classroom so they are going to be the least effective in meeting student needs," Lindsey Burke, an analyst at the Heritage Foundation, said.


Hot Videos view more

The celebrations are still continuing as the victorious coach, Joachim Loew, has been honored for his achievement in his hometown of Freiburg.
Germany coach Loew honored in hometown of Freiburg

Chinese men´s national team continued its preparations for next year´s Asian Cup, as they managed a one-all draw against visitors Jordan during a football friendly in Harbin, the capital city of Northeast China´s Heilongjiang Province.
China held to 1-1 draw by Jordan

The defending world champs came into the contest with a perfect 6-and-oh record, but they would be in for a tough first half before opening things up in the second.
USA beat Slovenia 119-76 in quarter-finals

Hot Stories more

UK authorities believe killer of James Foley is a British national

Across the UK the hunt is on for James Foley’s killer, who authorities believe is a British national. As Richard Bestic reports from London, Prime Minister David Cameron cut short his summer break to lead his government’s response.

Israeli war jets renews Gaza strike as truce talks stalled

Three Palestinians were killed and 40 others wounded in the intensive Israeli war jets´ airstrikes on the Gaza city on Tuesday night, shortly before an end of a 24-hour ceasefire in the Gaza Strip,

Missouri police arrest dozens after violent night

As the protests in the town of Ferguson, Missouri turned violent with police facing ´heavy gunfire´ from some ´criminal elements´, cops fired tear gas, stun grenades and arrested 31 demonstrators on Monday night.

Picture in news more

More Video News

Choose TV Program