By Christine Cooke

In case you missed it, President Trump signed a number of executive orders yesterday, several calling not to expand federal power – but to reduce it. We are encouraged by this particular use of presidential authority, including an executive order calling for a study of the federal government’s unlawful encroachment in education.

We all know that education happens at the individual level. Those closest to the student are in the best position to help students learn. But for decades the federal government has crept into education policy, with impossible No Child Left Behind requirements, grants that push unpopular teacher evaluations and the Common Core, and attempts to rule district-level decisions – frustrating students, parents and teachers alike.

Education is about the student. It’s a personal one-on-one human endeavor that parents, state and local leaders are equipped to handle – not politicians 2,000 miles away. We applaud the president’s decision to increase transparency in education. We believe it will shine a light on where the federal government went wrong and how we can return to local control. We look forward to putting power back into the hands of the people.

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Christine Cooke works as a policy analyst for Sutherland Institute’s Center for Educational Progress. Christine has a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University in English Teaching and graduated from Arizona State University with a law degree. Prior to joining Sutherland Institute, Christine was an English teacher at a public junior high school and a residential treatment center. As a student attorney in the Arizona State University Juvenile Advocacy Clinic, Christine represented clients in juvenile law proceedings and taught community legal education to high school students. She worked in legal and policy research with the legal counsel for the Arizona Office of the Governor, legal counsel for Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, the Goldwater Institute, and The Heritage Foundation. Christine has made appearances on Fox-13 News and KSL’s Sunday Edition and is regularly featured in regional publications and radio shows. She currently sits on a state committee that advises the Utah State Board of Education on specific education issues. When in her home state of Arizona, she loves to spend time with her family. She also loves music, hiking, and making cookies.

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