Liberals shouldn’t pretend they dislike federal intervention just because they oppose No Child Left Behind, writes Matthew Yglesias.
When you hear Kansas is taking evolution out of the curriculum, you don’t approve. You don’t say, “well, we can teach evolution in Maryland and let them teach whatever they want in Kansas.” Nor do you think it’s okay if Georgia wants to teach “The War of Northern Aggression.” Nor do you think the horrendous inequalities in school funding inside Connecticut is bad, but the inequalities in funding between New Jersey schools and New Mexico schools is a-okay . . .
Let me also just note more broadly that the idea of moral federal spending but less federal “intervention” is a mirage. Where there’s money, there will be strings, and rightly so.
Yglesias also observes that poor kids, who tend to move around more, are disadvantaged by local control.