Diane Ravitch wrote a good article in the New York Review of Books pointing out that the federal government’s role in public education from 1965 to 2001 was to provide more resources for under-funded schools in poor communities.
It was the Bush and Obama administrations who gave Washington the mission of sorting public schools into winners and losers. The old policy was something the federal government was capable of doing. The new policy is not. This is an example of Goyette’s Second Law in operation.
The Lost Purpose of School Reform by Diane Ravitch in the New York Review of Books.