July 22, 2004

Hope....against great odds.

If you want to know what's REALLY GOING ON, read this article from City Journal: Yes, the Education President, by Sol Stern.

In the fall of 1995, Dr. Reid Lyon, who directs research in the neuroscience of reading and learning disorders in children at the National Institutes of Health, got an unexpected call from first-year Texas governor George W. Bush. “Look,” Bush said, getting right to the point. “I have lots of kids who are not reading well. What’s the science on this that can guide us?” After that chat, Bush flew Lyon down to Texas several times to help redesign the state’s early-childhood reading programs so that they incorporated the latest NIH findings. “We’ve had a great relationship ever since,” Bush recently noted.

Lyon now serves as President Bush’s informal advisor on reading pedagogy, and he helped craft parts of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) act, the ambitious federal education bill that Bush signed into law in January 2002. Thanks largely to his input, Washington for the first time is using its spending power to prod school districts across the nation to rely on scientific standards in selecting reading programs. “There’s no need to throw good money into programs that don’t work,” Bush explains. “We’ve tried that before.”

For NCLB’s reading initiative alone, Bush richly deserves the title “education president.” But in addition, NCLB, though not perfect, is a powerful instrument of reform in other ways. What’s more, a new Bush-promoted school voucher program for Washington, D.C., may point the way toward further education reform in a second Bush term...

There's a ton of good stuff in this article. Lots of things are cooking. The vile child-murderers of the teacher's unions/Democrat Party are still fighting hard to preserve their government education monopoly (no matter how many young lives are destroyed), but they are being outmaneuvered! Outfoxed! What bliss. I think the good guys are going to win.

'Tis a great time to be alive! Here's some more. Chew on this:

...Nothing would be a better classroom exhibit for the president’s lecture to the American people than a successful Washington, D.C., voucher program. As Bush education official Rees notes, it will be “rigorously studied” by supporters and critics of choice alike—which is why, she says, “I am spending 75 percent of my time on the D.C. program, making sure it is implemented well and sold to parents.” The Census Bureau has just released figures showing that the D.C. public school district spends a mind-boggling $13,400 per pupil—higher than any state in the union. Yet as everyone now knows, Washington has the worst schools in the country. When, as is likely, thousands of D.C. voucher recipients manage to find perfectly decent schools for $7,500 or less, even the most mathematically challenged taxpayers will comprehend just how much the public education system that President Bush has valiantly worked to reform has been ripping them off.. [emphasis mine]
Which is why the complaints that NCLB was underfunded are bullshit. We are already spending HUGE sums on education. Lack of money is not the problem. The State Socialist system that squanders it is the problem.

[Note: go back to that first paragraph for a useful corrective to the "Bush Lied" buffoons. When he campaigned for the Texas governorship he promised to focus on education. He did exactly what he promised, and got splendid results. When he campaigned for President, he promised to focus on education, and that's exactly what we are getting. Consistently. Relentlessly. Here, read this:

...The president began putting the first part of his education reform package into place literally hours after he took the oath of office. The morning after the inauguration, he and Mrs. Bush listened carefully as Reid Lyon and other top education researchers presented their findings at a White House forum on reading pedagogy. The president made it clear that he wanted federal reading policy to go “wherever the evidence leads.”...

Posted by John Weidner at July 22, 2004 10:57 AM
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