NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

"Goals 2000" Invites Federal Bureaucrats Into Education

February 9, 1999

Goals 2000 is a federal program supposedly aimed at improving America's education system. But critics say that despite hefty spending, student performance isn't improving under the direction of Washington bureaucrats.

  • Today, there are 760 federal education programs run by 39 agencies -- at a cost to taxpayers of $100 billion a year.
  • Since being launched in 1994, Goals 2000 has spent about $2.1 billion -- with $507 million being spent this fiscal year.
  • Yet the National Education Goals Panel, an executive branch agency, found in its 1998 report that "progress has been uneven, and performance has actually slipped in some areas."
  • In fact, performance slipped in eight areas and showed no change in 10 others.

An increase in class disruptions has been reported in 32 states, and the share of minority students finishing math and science requirements fell in 15 states.

Experts say that none of the eight goals originally set in 1990 will be met by the 2000 deadline. Consequently there is a move afoot, observers report, to remove the timeline. This has led the Family Research Council to call the program "Goals Whenever."

Source: Michael Chapman, "The Central Plans of Goals 2000," Investor's Business Daily, February 9, 1999.


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