where I related that League of Women Voters members mourned that they could not comment on federal education issues, such as No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top, because LWV had never studied education at the federal level.
Working to remedy that, League leaders got together in 2010 and worked to modernize their education positions by creating study questions on "The Federal Role in Public Education." Then last year Leaguers all over the country researched, discussed, and came to consensus on answers to those questions.
Now, finally, two years later, LWV has completed its study and published positions on federal education policy. School board members, state and federal officeholders, research groups, the media, and "just regular people" who look to the League for trusted policy statements can cite them with confidence, just as they had for LWV’s state and local education positions.
As is often the case in life, at the end of this process the answers seem clear and commonsensical. Ideas such as the importance of high quality teaching, quality learning materials, well maintained educational facilities, and adequate funding sources are not controversial, but it’s useful to be able to cite them.
Other League-supported ideas such as national assessments, parent education, and early childhood education are as fresh as our morning papers and blogs, with much ongoing conversation among well-meaning people about their value. And, to the relief of those who believe in state and local control of education, LWV recommends leaving implementation of accountability measures to those entities.
Our local League of Women Voters of Los Altos-Mountain View has posted the entire Federal Role in Public Education Position on its website. Go to www.LWVLAMV.org and take a look. It’s in the "Stands on Issues" section along the left side of the homepage. (Click "Recent studies.") LWVUS has of course posted the position statement on its website: www.LWV.org. Just type in “education” in the search box on their homepage and scroll down to find the two-page Federal Role in Public Education Position.