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Noem on Education: Local Control Good, But Not When Obama Admin Offers It?

Last updated on 2011.08.19

The Displaced Plainsman highlights a hard choice facing Rep. Kristi Noem. She makes vague assertions that she wants to reform No Child Left Behind to allow more local control. That's an easy statement to make within the sloppy boundaries of her simplistic GOP campaign rhetoric.

But when President Obama's education secretary Arne Duncan takes steps to grant local districts more of the control Noem says they need, and Noem's Republican chairman on the education committee goes ape.

LK sees a need to restore local control and check Duncan's power, but questions Noem's ability to defend both positions coherently:

NCLB will be a key test for Representative Noem who has shown little talent for anything except raising money. Can she use her position on the committee to [rein] in Duncan and fix NCLB before September? [LK, "What Will Kristi Do?" The Displaced Plainsman, 2011.06.24]

The Noem-GOP line on education apparently reads thus: local control is great, but we offer it, not when Obama's people offer it.


  1. mike 2011.06.26

    Maybe the local school districts should by part of Wall Drug or else hold a fundraiser for Noem... That seems to be the only way anyone can get any attention from her to follow through with anything but lip service.

    Noem scheduled at least 10 Washington fundraisers in the first quarter, according to invitations compiled by the Sunlight Foundation. An e-mail obtained by the foundation included nine events, including a pizza lunch and two dinners asking for a $1,500-$2,000 donation from attendees. A Noem spokesman declined to comment, as did a spokesman for Stivers

  2. Lorri M. 2011.06.26

    She's part of the party of "No." The Party of No's Golden Rule: If the Democrats suggest it, it's bad; if the Republicans suggest it, it's good. Easy peasy.

  3. Guy 2011.06.26

    Well, I've seen this movie before. When Republicans like Noem get so comfortable and the South Dakota Middle Class (Independents) begins to get screwed and they begin percieve a disconnect, then, they usually turn on the Republican in the next election. There is definitely a huge disconnect between Noem and constituency and so early in her first term. She should ask former Senators Larry Pressler and Tom Daschle how that disconnect eventually bites you in the butt. But she won't and I don't care if it does her in politically down the road.

  4. caheidelberger Post author | 2011.06.26

    Good link, Larry! It appears Kristi Noem doesn't follow any of those rules. I haven't seen her say anything engaging online, mostly just repetition of leadership approved talking points.

    Guy, let's hope that butt-biting happens sooner than it did with the old pols you mention.

  5. RGoeman 2011.06.26

    No Child Left Behind is a federally-imposed, unfunded mandate on every state and school district. It hasn't worked, it needs to go. Everyone wants kids to excel and learn, but local districts need to control their destiny without federal interference. Does Obama have a plan to fund school improvement? Of course not, and even if he did, there is no money to fund it.

  6. Michael Blacl 2011.06.27

    Perfection (100%) is unattainable unless your standards are very low.

    Classroom time now is devoted to teaching students to pass a certain mandated test.

    Politicians pride themselves on passing NCLB while failing miserably in passing a budget.

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