Just read what Diane Ravitch, a research professor at New York University and fellow at the Brookings Institution wrote two years ago when discussing no child left behind. I used red to highlight the key sentence.
"America will not begin to meet the challenge of developing the potential of our students until we have accurate reporting about their educational progress. We will not have accurate reporting until that function is removed from the constraints of state and local politics. We will be stuck with piecemeal and ineffective reforms until we agree as a nation that education - not only in reading and mathematics, but also science, history, literature, foreign languages and the arts - must be our highest domestic priority."
Of course, she's right. But she's also seriously wrong. We may improve education by taking away state control of it, but we will weaken the states in the process. Is that a healthy tradeoff? I don't think so.