Editorial roundup

Akron Beacon Journal, Dec. 11

…On Dec. 9, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly approved an overhaul of No Child Left Behind, echoing the House and sending the measure to the White House, where President Obama quickly added his signature. The bill dramatically scales back the role of the federal government in public education…

…No Child Left Behind has proved flawed. The amount of high-stakes testing is part of the problem. So are the ill-conceived consequences and the impractical objective, all students proficient in reading and math by 2014, especially in view of the inadequate resources committed…

For those who argue the federal government has been “micromanaging” the education system, this amounts to an advance. What should trouble is the record of too many states, including Ohio. Before and after No Child Left Behind, they have backed away from the politically unpopular and difficult task of holding schools to higher standards, not to mention investing adequately to help raise the level of academic performance…

Supporters of the of overhaul talk about having maintained “federal guardrails” to ensure access to the necessary education. Yet the worry is, the federal government has lost sufficient leverage, and, as a result, the prospects for narrowing the achievement gap have dimmed.

So, as much as No Child Left Behind needed repair work … this legislation risks the country taking a step back. It risks exacerbating the problems that afflicted public education before Congress acted 13 years ago.

Online: http://bit.ly/1RNghDR

The (Canton) Repository, Dec. 9

“Make America intolerant again” would be a slogan more befitting of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign than the one he’s spewing now. Trump is bringing out the worst in our electorate at a time when we cannot afford to sacrifice freedom because of fear.

Trump’s statement on Dec. 7 that the United States should ban all Muslims from entering the United States, including Muslim-Americans currently abroad, in the wake of terrorist attacks by the Islamic State group and its sympathizers is a new low for one of the most divisive and destructive presidential campaigns in American political history. It betrays the values our country was built upon…

And yet tapping into Islamaphobia and, to a much greater extent, xenophobia, might be a winning hand for Trump, whose poll numbers appear to correspond with the shock value of his noxious invective. Trump’s call for a religious database in which all Muslims would be registered, along with his latest pronouncement about applying a religious test to immigrants, are the sort of ugly mindset that led to internment camps for Japanese Americans during World War II, a dark period in American history toward which we should never return.

More Republican candidates for president should follow Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s lead and call Trump what he is: a fascist demagogue who’s poisoned the national debate about the future of this great country.

What’s scarier than a Trump presidency, though, is what his growing and seemingly impenetrable support says about where we are as a nation.

Online: http://bit.ly/1Qotio6