Children hold up signs during the first New York rally...

Children hold up signs during the first New York rally in "The Great American Opt Out" at Comsewogue High School in Port Jefferson Station on Saturday, March 29, 2014. Credit: Ed Betz

I have no use for the U.S. Department of Education [“Opt-out rates could cut funds,” News, Dec. 23].

As parents and educators begin to understand the infinite failures of federal initiatives such as No Child Left Behind, the carrot-on-a-stick incentive on steroids called Race to the Top, and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, this bloated department has wasted tax dollars and ruined education for scores of students for decades.

It is an experiment gone awry, and it’s time for the Department of Education to go. Now that the acting secretary of education is John B. King Jr. — the man who oversaw New York State’s disastrous rollout of the Common Core state standards — that only makes my claim that much stronger.

The department has churned out one bad policy after another, policies that have been wreaking havoc on our public schools. It has left a wake of children who have been tested to death and also degraded educators by reducing them to numbers.

I don’t believe in federal control of our schools. Many of our parents and teachers can figure out for themselves how to educate our children. The challenge of a great education is best addressed as close to the student as possible. Local control should chart its own course.

Michael Hynes


Editor’s note: The writer is the superintendent of the Patchogue-Medford school district.