America 2000, Goals 2000: Educational
Reform for the Next Century?
Martin W. Sharp
Nations may have passed a long life before arriving at their destinations, and
during this period, they may have attained considerable culture in some direc-
tions…. But it is the State which first presents subject-matter that is not only
adapted to the prose of history, but involves the production of such history in
the very progress of its own being.
Hegel (1857, 62)
The purpose of this chapter is to portray the development and impact of public policy posited by the Bush administration regarding the salvation of public education in the United States of America.
The word “education” or words related to the concept of public education for the children of the United States do not appear in the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution does not discuss public education; however, the Tenth Amendment does grant this authority to the states. The amendment states, “the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states or to the people.” Therefore, education is by law the responsibility of each of the fifty states. Many other countries in the world have a nationalized system for education, but this is not the case in the United States. Each state, addressing the issues of education, has provided for education as a result of its constitution by basic statutory law. State legislatures are in many states responsible for developing, operating, managing and maintaining school systems. The legislators are the policy makers. State departments of education are created by the legislatures to execute state policy. In addition, other branches of the state governments, such as