Neal McCluskey | All Articles

Neal McCluskey
Neal McCluskey
Associate Director, The Cato Institute's Center for Educational Freedom

The New ‘No Child’: Control By A Thousand Vetoes?

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., discusses papers and memorabilia on display in an exhibit about his political career, Friday, Sept. 16, 2011, at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn.  Alexander said he plans to run for re-election to the Senate in 2014. (AP Photo/Erik Schelzig)

It is probably safe to say that very few people like the No Child Left Behind Act. It has delivered far too much micromanagement, far too little academic improvement, and has opened the door to direct control of education by the Obama administration. This week the full Senate and House – the latter passed its bill Wednesday of last week, 218 to 213 – took up measures that would end both NCLB and, as education committee chair Lamar Alexander (R-TN) has put it, the “national schoolboard” that Washington has become.

Common Core Supporters Can’t Demonstrate Its Effectiveness. Are They Counting On A Christmas Miracle?

12:50 PM 12/19/2014

As any Christmas show will tell you, whether it’s the rejuvenation of Charlie Brown’s tree or the saving of George Bailey, ‘tis the season for miracles! Perhaps in that spirit, several high-profile advocates for the Common Core national curriculum standards are promising, essentially, an educational miracle. But while we can always count on a miracle on 34thStreet, the children who go to school there – or anywhere else – deserve real evidence the Core will work.

Public schools can’t help but curb freedom of expression

11:56 AM 04/04/2014

It was trending on Twitter all day on Tuesday: #ReligiousFreedomForAll. The impetus was the Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby case being argued before the Supreme Court, and disgust over government forcing people to pay for medical treatments they find immoral. But if people cared about public schooling as much as they do Obamacare, hashtags defending all kinds of freedom would be the daily norm on Twitter.

Now let’s try real student aid reform

10:21 AM 08/02/2013

The U.S. Senate and House have passed a student loan bill President Obama will almost certainly sign. Bipartisanship lives! But don’t get too excited. Heck, don’t get excited at all: The bill will only deliver minor tweaks to a system that needs elimination, not a screw or two turned a little harder.

The anti-dissing strike

4:50 PM 09/12/2012

Let’s get one thing straight: the Chicago Teachers Union strike isn’t about what’s best for kids, no matter how much unionists insist it is. It is ultimately about bruised egos, and staying unaccountable.

Title IX swings wildly at invisible enemy

2:07 PM 06/21/2012

Saturday is the 40th birthday of Title IX, the law prohibiting gender discrimination in federally funded education activities. Or that’s its official goal. What it actually does is swing wildly in hopes of hitting an invisible threat.

The reason Obama is pushing for more federal education spending

2:45 PM 05/01/2012

Watch President Obama rail about the rich and brandish his Buffett Rule and it’s hard not to see class warfare. Look at the spending the president proclaims is most important, however --- especially on education --- and you might conclude that he isn’t prosecuting a class war. He’s just giving up on reality.

For the nation’s sake, cut education spending

10:09 AM 01/25/2011

If President Obama cares about restoring sanity to federal finances, he will demand deep cuts to education spending. That’s right: In tonight’s State of the Union address, he will call to axe most of Washington’s educationally worthless outlays.

Education race to top hits bottom

8:47 PM 04/07/2010

You’ve probably been in an argument and, not very confident about your point, resorted to rhetorically blitzing your opponent by just insisting you were irrefutably right. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has been employing a similar tactic with the “Race to the Top,” a competition pitting states against each other in a grab for $4 billion in “stimulus” dough. Duncan has been flatly declaring RTTT a triumph.