From a statement by Dr. George Roche accompanying his resignation as chairman of the National Council On Education Research on May 7:
The federal education bureaucracy . . . has proven itself ineffective in addressing the major issues confronting American education. It has become the captive of misguided and misinformed "educationists" who have sacrificed traditional instruction in the "three Rs" and respect for the Western cultural heritage in favor of pop-psychology and behavior modification as the goals of a nation in which 23 million Americans are functionally illiterate and less than half of our 17-year-olds who have passed Algebra II can correctly answer simple word problems involving several steps.
As President Reagan has so aptly noted, "If money alone were the answer, the problem would have been shrinking, not growing." Yet, we will spend over $51 million this year on the National Institute of Education, and to what end? Since its creation in 1972, the NIE has spent approximately $800 million on pet projects of the education lobby, all while educational standards and student performance have been falling. And the Department of Education itself, which will spend over $17 billion during this fiscal year, has little more to show for its endeavors. Clearly, this record of achievement is unenviable.
But for that, quite frankly, we should be grateful. Because the federal education bureaucracy, of which NIE is a shining example, merely represents another layer of the "professionals" who have wedged themselves between parents and the schools. These education professionals have contempt for the notion . . . that schools and teachers act in loco parentis -- as representatives of parents. They deride any suggestion that a permanent, growing federal role in education is undesirable.