Federalism is seen as in balance now---education reform remains largely under state control
Jacob 17 – Brian A. Jacob, Nonresident Senior Fellow - Economic Studies, Center on Children and Families, February 2, 2017, How the U.S. Department of Education can foster education reform in the era of Trump and ESSA, https://www.brookings.edu/research/how-the-u-s-department-of-education-can-foster-education-reform-in-the-era-of-trump-and-essa/
The current administration has vowed to leave education matters up to the states, continuing a movement started with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), whichdramatically limited the federal government’s role in school accountability. While greater local control certainly has some benefits, it risks exacerbating the massive disparities in educational performance across states that already exists. In 2015, there was almost a 30 percentile point difference in 4th grade math proficiency rates between the top and bottom states, only some of which can be explained by state-level social and economic factors. The massive disparity in progress is perhaps even more disturbing. Between 2003 and 2015, student proficiency rates grew by over 40 percent in some states, while remaining flat or even declining in other states. The Department of Education (DoED) should take steps to highlight these disparities by identifying the lowest performing states and providing information on the status and progress of all states on a variety of educational metrics. The DoED might also provide modest funding and technical assistance to help demographically similar states work together to improve their public education systems. On the campaign trail, President Trump often called for giving more discretion over education policy to states and localities, critiquing Common Coreand what he viewed as other instances of federal overreach. In her recent confirmation hearing, President Trump’s nominee for Education Secretary—Betsy DeVos—repeatedly argued for leaving education matters up to the states. And this desire for local control is not limited to the current administration. In 2015, Congress passed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) with strong bipartisan support. This legislation replaced the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) system of school accountability with a more narrowly tailored and flexible approach to school reform. Instead of requiring all schools to meet annual performance targets, ESSA requires states to focus on a small set of low-performing schools and gives them considerable latitude to design the interventions they deem appropriate. In discussing ESSA, chair of the Senate Education Committee Lamar Alexander claimed, “The department was in effect acting as a national school board for the 42 states with waivers—100,000 schools. The states were doing fine until the federal government stuck its nose into it…So it was important to get the balls back in the hands of the people who really should have it.” But the evidence suggests that not all states are doing fine. Indeed, there are massive disparities across states in terms of current student performance, and these differences are not merely a factor of the social and economic conditions in the state. All states have been actively engaged in efforts to turnaround failing schools, but the effectiveness of such efforts has varied dramatically across jurisdictions. Public education will (and should) always be driven predominantly by local actors—teachers, administrators, school board members, andstate legislators. Even under NCLB, states and districts had a mostly unfettered ability to run schools as they saw fit. But with autonomy comes the potential for greater disparity, as more capable, focused, and well-resourced states pull even further ahead of those with less capacity, fewer resources, and greater political dysfunction.
Federal education policy preempts the states and makes everything worse
McCluskey, director of the Cato Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom, 17
(Neal, “For the Love of Choice, Don’t Federalize It”, https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/love-choice-dont-federalize-it)
The case for federalism The first question facing any federal proposal should bewhether it is allowed by the Constitution. That may seem quaint or quixotic, but it is fundamental: the Constitution gives Washington specifically enumerated powers,and that is all.Governing education, aside from enforcing civil rights legislation and regulating schooling on federal lands, is not among them. There are sound practical reasonsfor respecting these constitutional limits. First and foremost, federalism defends against centralized control of America’s diverse communities and people. In addition, when sub-national units, such as states and school districts, try something new, the damage is isolated if a plan does not work; if it succeeds, others are free to replicate it and adapt it to their needs. But isn’t school choice fundamentally different from and better than federalism? Doesn’t it inherently move power from higher, more centralized levels to the lowest levels possible: children and families? It does, and that is a tremendous strength. But as we’ve learned from roughly a quarter-century of experience with state-level school choice programs and federal higher education policy, any connection to the federal government can have unintended consequences for choice, including incentivizing government control of the schools to which public money flows. That control candiminishandeveneliminatethe core value of school choice: the ability to choose something truly different. A federal program would be too dangerous, threatening to snuff out federalism and impose uniformity on private schools nationwide.
Education’s the key issue for federalism – the plan upsets the overall balance of power
Roberts, PhD, Executive Vice President of TPPF, 17
(Kevin D., “States, Not the Feds, Should Lead Education Reform”, http://www.realcleareducation.com/articles/2017/02/07/states_not_the_feds_should_lead_education_reform__110115.html)
The era of Donald Trump offers conservative reformersopportunities they have not seen since the 1980s. Themost significantare in education, where the federal government has aggrandized itspower, rendering states impotent. This overreach comes at the expense of two things very dear to the nation—our schoolchildren andour understanding of shared power. Though the Trump administration will no doubt address the former problem, its means of doing so may very well exacerbate the latter. Too often, well-intentioned, conservative executivesend up usingfederal powerto heal the wounds caused by the very same bludgeon—federal power. If President Trump is correct in his inaugural exhortation that “now is the hour of action,” then states—not federal bureaucrats—need to lead the charge on education policy. Among the many problems facing American education, the most significant may be our schools’ and colleges’ utter failure to teach civic education. Two generations of American students have been taught precious little about the American Founding or the Constitution, let alone the philosophical foundation of the American system of government—federalism. That notion of shared power between the federal government and states has, as a result, withered. How fitting, then, that Texas—where the American spirit of independence, work ethic, freedom and a vibrant notion of state power is palpable—take the lead in renewing federalism. Andhow fitting that it do so in the policy area whererevitalized state power is most needed: education.During the otherwise-bleak years of the previous administration, the Lone Star State has shined as a beacon of liberty, deregulation and restrained government authority. Harkening to Justice Louis Brandeis's early-20th-century comment that “states are the laboratories of democracy,” Texas-based initiatives have sprouted across the nation. It's no Texan braggadocio to observe that nationwide, efforts in tort reform, deregulation, tax reduction and criminal justice reform originated in Texas. The resulting “Texas Model” has become the blueprint for leaders in dozens of states. And that is precisely how our system should work. Though we are all familiar with the legitimate claims based on state sovereignty and the Tenth Amendment, our Founders viewed those as mere baseline expectations. In the realm of public policy, they saw the states as taking the initiative, being so bold and innovative that the federal government would have to serve as a check on them—not the other way around, as the case has been in recent years. As the Obama administration would be the first to say, Texas has led those efforts to check federal power. That defensive posture was necessary—and, for the Republic, crucial. But now Texas and other states must seize the field of education policy, exercising their own power with bold policy initiatives. The timing for Texas policymakers is perfect. The state's biennial legislative session has just begun, and the momentum for an education overhaul has never been stronger. At the National School Choice Week rally earlier this week, both Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick gave rousing, full-throated endorsements of school choice reforms. There are obstacles, to be sure, but even the defenders of the status quo recognize that it's hard to defend the mediocrity of the status quo. Among the many school choice vehicles, the most far-reaching—for Texas and the United States—is an Education Savings Account (ESA). Built on the successes of early choice vehicles such as tax-credit scholarships, ESAs offer wider and easier usage, removing the barriers to access that have been foisted on choice programs by opponents. Parents may use an ESA to pay for a host of education-related expenses, including private school tuition, tutoring, special needs programs and books. In sum, an ESA gives parents an unprecedented means for customizing their child’s education—the exact opposite of the conveyor-belt, cookie-cutter approach that has become modern American education. Though some reformers have advocated for federal ESAs, the inefficiency inherent in the large federal bureaucracy begs for states to take the lead. Texas, the most populous state with a bent toward conservative, free-market reforms, has a unique opportunity to show that states, as our Founders expected, can be at theforefrontofpolicy innovation. There could not be more at stake. Our children deserve an end to zip-code discrimination, which dramatically limits their access to decent educational options. Furthermore, the civic health of our American Republic—in particular, the long-standing view that states, not the feds, would lead—hangs in the balance.
U.S. Federalism is modelled globally
Rahdert 7 – Mark C., A.B. 1974, Harvard College; J.D. 1978, Yale Law School. Professor of Law, Temple University Beasley School of Law, “ARTICLE: COMPARATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL ADVOCACY”, 56 Am. U.L. Rev. 553, February 2007
A. External Factors Perhaps the main reason that this debate has surfaced at this particular juncture is that foreign sources on constitutional questions are available to a degree and in a quality never previously experienced. There are four principal causes. First, until recently, there was relatively little comparative constitutional material worthy of serious consideration by U.S. courts. Now there is, forcing U.S. judges for the first time to decide what to do about it. Second, the decisions of foreign constitutional courts increasingly grapple with the same (or very similar) constitutional issues as their U.S. counterparts. This is particularly true in human rights, where there has been an international convergence of constitutional human rights norms, making discussion of these issues in foreign courts more potentially relevant to U.S. jurisprudence. Third, many foreign [*562] constitutional courts possess sufficient expertise, professionalism, judicial independence, transparency of process, and caliber of reasoning to make their views worthy of mature consideration. Finally, while there is still a long way to go, improvements in information technology and availability make the decisions of foreign courts more accessible than they have ever been in the past. 1. Growth of foreign constitutional precedent Most comparative constitutional material is of recent origin. The bulk has developed since World War II. n37 Prior to the War, liberal democracies outside the United States were rare, n38 and those with systems for authoritative legal interpretation and application of constitutional norms were even rarer. n39 English-speaking systems (most accessible because of a common tongue and common legal roots) were still part of the British common law system, which operated without a formal written constitution and without American-style judicial review. n40 Other major non-English legal systems were either relatively short-lived constitutional democracies (such as the German pre-war Weimar republic), n41 functioned under civil law traditions that vested constitutional authority outside the courts (as was the case in pre-war France), n42 or simply lacked the indicia of true democratic governance (as was true in most of Asia, [*563] Central America, and most jurisdictions south of the Equator). n43 Consequently, there was practically no worthwhile constitutional precedent anywhere else in the world. English law played a significant though occasional role in American constitutional thinking, n44 but the constitutional law of other nations had virtually no role at all. The past fifty years have changed all of that in remarkable ways, most notably through the enactment of new constitutions and the development of tribunals for authoritative constitutional interpretation and application in democratic systems around the world. n45 With direct U.S. encouragement, elements of American-style constitutionalism were transplanted into the new post-war constitutional structures adopted in Japan and West Germany. n46 Some leading Western European nations contemporaneously adopted new constitutional systems complete with formal constitutional courts. n47 English-speaking constitutional legal systems with judicial review powers emerged in several British [*564] Commonwealth nations including Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. n48 New supranational constitutional systems with authoritative judicial structures, most notably the European Court of Human Rights and the courts of the European Union, developed. n49 Constitutions and constitutional courts were installed in some of the nations that emerged from crumbling colonial empires in Africa, the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific. n50 More recently, systems of constitutional law and adjudication in constitutional courts were adopted in several Eastern European republics that were organized (sometimes with U.S. technical assistance) after the disintegration of the Communist bloc and the Soviet Union. n51 Indeed, if one were to create a list of the fifteen or twenty leading world constitutional systems today, the overwhelming majority either did not exist or were in their infancy fifty years ago. 2. Similarity of issues Many of the world's leading constitutional systems have been in business long enough to develop significant and relatively mature law on constitutional questions that resonate with issues in the United States. There is, for example, a robust transnational jurisprudence on such issues as reproductive freedom, n52 freedom of speech, n53 [*565] freedom of religion, n54 racial and ethnic equality, n55 language rights of minorities, n56 gender equality, n57 sexual orientation equality, n58 privacy, n59 constitutional limits on punishment, n60 the right to counsel for the indigent, n61 and the rights of the accused. n62 An international jurisprudence is also developing on such structural issues as separation of powers and the rulemaking authority of government agencies, n63 war and emergency executive powers, n64 andeven (to a limited degree) federalism. n65 [*566] Exploring the jurisprudence of other nations on these and other similar constitutional questions, one is struck by the similarity to U.S. constitutional law. This similarity has at least two sources: a commitment to common constitutional norms, and the need to apply them to comparable cultural, social, political, and economic developments. n66 While the various world constitutional systems reflect important differences in language, structure, and history, they are often committed to the same basic principles as the U.S. Constitution. This is especially true in the field of human rights n67 because the U.S. Constitution has served as a model for human rights guarantees around the world. n68 While more modern constitutions elsewhere have often expanded beyond the U.S. Constitution, including explicit guarantees that the U.S. Constitution lacks, n69 many have looked (often explicitly) to the U.S. Constitution for guidance when crafting their own Constitutions. n70 Because their constitutional [*567] law embraces comparable basic human rights, it encounters similar constitutional questions. While reliance on the U.S. model for structural issues has been less direct, other democracies also share some common structural ground, particularly in the delineation of separate spheres for legislative, executive/administrative, and judicial functions. n71 Like the U.S. Constitution, many foreign constitutions delineate legislative and executive powers and functions, and their legal systems face instances of potential horizontal and vertical conflict among internal governmental structures. n72 Not only do other systems share a commitment to similar constitutional norms, they also experience similar challenges in applying these principles to the realities of contemporary culture. n73 [*568] In the twenty-first century, economic and technological developments, demographic changes, political, social, cultural, or religious issues, and world events often cross national boundaries, creating the same sorts of constitutional friction in more than one constitutional system. Thus, for example, nations committed to principles of equality have addressed the rights of various subgroups, including ethnic and linguistic minorities, women, indigenous groups, and non-citizens. n74 Nations committed to free expression have grappled with the effects of mass media, the Internet, distribution of sexually explicit materials, disclosure of government secrets, press invasions of privacy, hate speech, and saturated media coverage of high-profile criminal trials. n75 And nations committed to constitutional reproductive and medical privacy have defined the scope of those rights in the context of rapid advances in reproductive and medical technology. n76 3. Analytic methods Constitutional decision makers often employ similar analytic processes. For example, concepts such as separation of powers, standards of review, means-ends analysis, balancing of interests, and proportionality n77 familiar to American constitutional law have counterparts in other constitutional systems. The principles do not have identical meanings or applications in different systems, and there are other analytic structures that lack direct U.S. cognates. n78 [*569] Nevertheless, there is a definite analytic common ground across constitutional systems. Additionally, many foreign constitutional tribunals exhibit high levels of professionalism, use transparent and fair processes, maintain the impartiality and political independence of judges, engage in thorough legal reasoning, and display a strong commitment to the rule of law. All of this supports the potential utility of foreign courts' judgments on common questions of law. n79 One particularly notable feature of comparative constitutional adjudication is the frequency and analytic clarity of international courts' reference to and discussion of U.S. precedent on constitutional questions. In Canada, n80 Australia, n81 Germany, n82 the European Court of Human Rights, n83 Israel, n84 India, n85 South Africa, n86 Japan, n87 and elsewhere, judges [*570] frequently refer to and discuss U.S. constitutional law and precedent. Indeed, the depth of foreign courts' knowledge and discussion of U.S. constitutional precedent contrasts with the dearth of knowledge and discussion of comparative sources in most U.S. constitutional law. When skilled and thoughtful judges elsewhere deem U.S. constitutional law relevant to constitutional issues in their legal system, it supports the reciprocal inference that their decisions might be relevant to questions of U.S. constitutional law. 4. Availability The final external factor favoring greater use of comparative constitutional precedent is its increasing availability. n88 Most foreign constitutional tribunals maintain detailed and accurate records of their proceedings, publish them in accessible formats, and sometimes even translate them into English. n89 These materials are internationally available and in many instances electronically accessible. n90 While some lag time still exists between decision and publication, it is growing progressively shorter, so that it is often possible to acquire detailed knowledge of foreign decisions shortly after they are rendered. These developments combine to create the distinct impression that foreign constitutional courts might well have significant potential utility as a source for analysis of current U.S. constitutional questions. [*571] They set the foundation for internal U.S. debate over the legitimacy of comparative constitutional analysis.
U.S. Federalism model solves massive wars
“Federalism for Nepal”, Mahendra Lawoti is professor at the department of political science at Western Michigan University, writer of several books and Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh with dissertation of Exclusionary Democratization: Multicultural Society and Political Institutions in Nepa., http://www.telegraphnepal.com/backup/telegraph/news_det.php?news_id=5041
Cross-national studies covering over 100 countries have shown that federalism minimizes violent conflictswhereas unitary structures are more apt to exacerbate ethnic conflicts. Frank S. Cohen (1997) analyzed ethnic conflicts and inter-governmental organizations over nine 5-year –periods (1945-1948 and 1985-1989) among 223 ethnic groups in 100 countries. He found that federalism generates increases in the incidence of protests (low-level ethnic conflicts) but stifles the development of rebellions (high-level conflicts). Increased access to institutional power provided by federalism leads to more low-level conflicts because local groups mobilize at the regional level to make demands on the regional governments. The perceptions that conflicts occur in federal structure is not entirely incorrect. But the conflicts are low-level and manageable ones. Often, these are desirable conflicts because they are expressions of disadvantaged groups and people for equality and justice, and part of a process that consolidates democracy. In addition, they also let off steam so that the protests do not turn into rebellions. As the demands at the regional levels are addressed, frustrations do not build up. It checks abrupt and severe outburst. That is why high levels of conflicts are found less in federal countries. On the other hand, Cohen found high levels of conflicts in unitary structures and centralized politics. According to Cohen (1997:624):
Federalism moderates politics by expanding the opportunity for victory. The increase in opportunities for political gain comes from the fragmentation/dispersion of policy-making power… the compartmentalizing character of federalism also assures cultural distinctiveness by offering dissatisfied ethnic minorities proximity to public affairs. Such close contact provides a feeling of both control and security that an ethnic group gains regarding its own affairs. In general, such institutional proximity expands the opportunities for political participation, socialization, and consequently, democratic consolidation.
Saidmeman, Lanoue, Campenini, and Stanton’s (2002: 118) findings also support Cohen’s analysis that federalism influences peace and violent dissent differently. They used Minority at Risk Phase III dataset and investigated 1264 ethnic groups. According to Saideman et al. (2002:118-120):
Federalism reduces the level of ethnic violence. In a federal structure, groups at the local level can influence many of the issues that matter dearly to them- education, law enforcement, and the like. Moreover, federal arrangements reduce the chances that any group will realize its greatest nightmare: having its culture, political and educational institutions destroyed by a hostile national majority.
These broad empirical studies support the earlier claims of Lijphart, Gurr, and Horowitz that power sharing and autonomy granting institutions can foster peaceful accommodation and prevent violent conflicts among different groups in culturally plural societies. Lijphart (1977:88), in his award winning book Democracy in Plural Societies, argues that "Clear boundaries between the segments of a plural society have the advantage of limiting mutual contacts and consequently of limiting the chances of ever-present potential antagonisms to erupt into actual hostility". This is not to argue for isolated or closed polities, which is almost impossible in a progressively globalizing world. The case is that when quite distinct and self-differentiating cultures come into contact, antagonism between them may increase. Compared to federal structure, unitary structure may bring distinct cultural groups into intense contact more rapidly because more group members may stay within their regions of traditional settlements under federal arrangements whereas unitary structure may foster population movement.
Federalism reduces conflicts because it provides autonomy to groups. Disputants within federal structures or any mechanisms that provide autonomy are better able to work out agreements on more specific issues that surface repeatedly in the programs of communal movement (Gurr 1993:298-299). Autonomy agreements have helped dampen rebellions by Basques in Spain, the Moros in the Philippines, the Miskitos in Nicaragua, the people of Bangladesh’s Chittagong Hill Tracts and the affairs of Ethiopia, among others (Gurr 1993:3190) The Indian experiences are also illustrative. Ghosh (1998) argues that India state manged many its violent ethnic conflicts by creating new states (Such as Andhra Pradesh, Gujurat, Punjab, Harayana, Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland) and autonomous councils (Such as Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council, Bodoland Autonomous Council, and Jharkhand Area autonomous Council, Leh Autonomous Hill Development Council). The basic idea, according to Ghosh (1998:61), was to devolve powers to make the ethnic/linguistic groups feel that their identity was being respected by the state.
By providing autonomy, federalism also undermines militant appeals. Because effective autonomy provides resources and institutions through which groups can make significant progress toward their objectives, many ethnic activities and supporters of ethnic movements are engaged through such arrangements. Thus it builds long-term support for peaceful solutions and undermines appeals to militant action (Gurr 1993:303). Policies of regional devolution in France, Spain and Italy, on the other hand, demonstrate that establishing self-managing autonomous regions can be politically and economically less burdensome for central states than keeping resistant peoples in line by force: autonomy arrangements have transformed destructive conflicts in these societies into positive interregional competition".