Federal Involvement In Curriculum: Is This Legal?

There is a law in the United States of America that prohibits the Federal government from directing, supervising, or controlling curriculum in education.  It reads:

No provision of a program administered by the Secretary or by any other officer of the Department shall be construed to authorize the Secretary or any such officer to exercise any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum, program of instruction, administration, or personnel of any educational institution, school, or school system, over any accrediting agency or association, or over the selection or content of library resources, textbooks, or other instructional materials by any educational institution or school system, except to the extent authorized by law. (Section 103[b], Public Law 96-88)  Click Here for Source

The law is clear that the Federal government CANNOT direct, supervise or control curriculum.

It is interesting to note that the US Department of Education funded the creation of curriculum under a $15.8 million supplemental grant to the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (one of the two federally funded tests for the Common Core State Standards).  You can see the plain language of the funding tied to curriculum here.

How are they getting away with this?  They added the word “materials” so that it reads “curriculum materials” instead of “curriculum.”



Share Button