Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

A Bush Secretary of Education criticizes a Bush Secretary of Education

Last Friday, Lamar Alexander gave a speech in which he criticized the Spellings Commission. Here’s the core of his argument:

Instead of debating how many more regulations we need, if we really are serious about excellence and opportunity, we should be debating which regulations we can get rid of.


The question is whether you believe that excellence in higher education comes from institutional autonomy, markets, competition, choice for students, federalism and limited federal regulation or whether you don’t.


I believe it does. In fact, I have spent most of my public career arguing that we should borrow these principles from higher education where we have excellence and try them in k-12 where we too often don’t.

The other important point he made is that the changes proposed by the Spellings Commission are so sweeping that they should be initiated (if at all) legislatively, not administratively, as the DoE is attempting.

I’m giving him a quiet little standing ovation at my keyboard.

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