March 10, 2004

Remember the "Stability" stage?

Remember how, among the many defense-lines Tranzis have been driven from, there was "Saddam (or the Taliban, or the Soviet Union) is bad but at least he provides stability?"

Well, now they are at that stage in their defense of the Public School System! This article, Built To Fail, reminds me of things we were reading in 2002. No Child Left Behind is going to "throw the system into turmoil!" Wasn't the Middle East going to be thrown into turmoil? Wasn't that going to be the End of the World?

...Under the terms of NCLB, which President Bush has called "the cornerstone of my administration," all of the nation's public school students must be tested in reading and math every year in grades three through eight, and at least once in grades ten through twelve. Any school receiving federal Title I money (ostensibly earmarked to improve the performance of disadvantaged students) faces increasingly harsh sanctions if its test scores fail to meet state-defined standards for making adequate yearly progress. After two years of AYP failure, the school must offer students the option of transferring to another public school in the district and bear the cost of transportation. After three years, the school must also offer low-income students tutorial services through a public or private agency approved by the state. After four years, the school district must take corrective actions such as removing personnel or changing the curriculum in the school. And after five years, the district is obliged to blow up, or "restructure," the school by replacing most or all of its staff or by turning over operations, as the U.S. Department of Education puts it, "to either the state or to a private company with a demonstrated record of effectiveness."

With reasonable guidelines and adequate funding, this timetable might have been a prudent course of education reform. But as the first sanctions are just now begininng to kick in, people across the country are belatedly discovering that NCLB is being structured and implemented as a punitive assault on public education, designed to throw the system into turmoil and open the door to privatization....

Gee, do you really really think so? Could that moron Bush have made a catastrophic mistake, trying to prop up the current system, and yet somehow demolishing it? Even with Teddy Kennedy's assistance? How very very stupid of him. Texans, you know...
'Status quo,' you know, that is Latin for 'the mess we're in.'
-- Ronald Reagan
* Update: If the "stability" argument fails to gain traction, I predict we'll be learning that Bush is a "mastermind" (with a cabal of shadowy Jewish education advisors) who is taking unfair advantage of simple honest straightforward Democrats. You read it here first...

Posted by John Weidner at March 10, 2004 8:22 AM
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