The Evolving Role of Government in Education
What are the roles of federal and state government when it comes to American education? The roles of education have evolved from historic liabilities to current liabilities. There are many laws and cases that have had an impact on American education that still has a strong influence on education today such as the debate between church and state, racial desegregation, and education finances. Other impacts as relevant are testing standards and special education programs that have arisen from influences of federal concerns. The purpose of this paper is to examine the historical and current roles that the federal and state government has on education. Other factors to include are individual cases and laws along with an analysis of the church and state debate of public education.
The federal government historical effects of American education continue to have effects on education today. It started from having no intentions of providing education to currently having limited roles. It was not of importance to include education within the American society, in fact, it was not of importance to include it in the most authoritative charter of America, the United States Constitution of America, written in 1787. The Constitution, the highest and most powerful law of America did not include education or schooling within its documentation; because it was not of concern at that time (Guthrie, 2002). This had then given the federal government limited right to be heard in American education, until the establishment of Amendments. Therefore, the roles they had many years ago are still limited, concerning the welfare and importance of education today.
Federal and state histories established meaningful roles in the importance of education. The historical roles the federal government played in education since 1867 was to gather information, report data, and support teaching that would help the States establish effective school systems (Ed.gov, 2011). With time, the federal government began establishing more roles, to supplement the states responsibilities, to create programs beneficial to learning. Prominence programs the federal government wanted to focus on were providing education for students with exceptional needs and disabilities established in 1965. The recent addition in 2001 is to increase student achievement through promotions of academic standards and qualifications known as The No Child Left Behind Act (Webb, 2010, p. 342). These programs are substantial in helping disadvantaged students, but it does not give the federal government full recognition of education. Since the federal government has limitations on education, the state is acknowledged for having full authority over the educational system.
Historically the states power to control education was always its obligation, today it still remains. The state’s responsibility to provide education and meet standards of excellence is to ensure all perform...