Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Federal Partner = Watch out
(NY Times article)

NY Times:

It’s hard to get people in school administrations to talk with you now. Imagine how hard it will be with the Feds as “your partner”?
Still without the Fed role we would not have the standardized test data showing the problems reach down into elementary school.

The sad part about it is that if “Public Education Inc.” hadn’t done such a crummy job with big city schools, the achievement gap and flakey strategies like Whole Language and Discovery Math then we probably would not be complaining and the door would not have been opened for the Feds to play such an activist role. As things stand now, with continuing high dropout rates, poor math/science scores, increasing human capital competition from India and China, there is just more and more demand for the Feds to be “our friends / partners”.

{Look for lots of spending and continued poor performance with FED involvement.}

So watch out for that bear hug, or should it be called the “Fed hug”?

-- David O.
Note: Comment #1 below is from Spokane's Laurie Rogers
"Betrayed Blog author" and activist.


dan dempsey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Our district attempted to reopen contract negotiations by riffing our new teachers. It was ridiculous until they tried to make a master schedule and realized they would need more teachers than they laid off. Where's the ethics?

Laurie H. Rogers said...

"Mr. Duncan says he encounters no public opposition."

a) This isn't true. Duncan has encountered public opposition. He doesn't listen to it - probably does his best to not notice it. Because his hand is so heavy, I expect he's able to just run over most of that opposition.

b) In public education, Duncan tends to encounter only those people who are playing for his team. I've asked him questions. His department refused for six months to answer them, despite a formal request for information. When I finally received answers, they were carefully worded and nonspecific.

c) Duncan is doing more than push hard. He's forcing it. This is taxpayer money Duncan is using as "leverage" to force state governments to buckle under and accept his control. They used to call that bribery, blackmail, and brass knuckles. Nowadays, he's just seen as a man in a hurry.

d) On the (extremely) rare occasions that journalists ask him valid questions, Duncan doesn't answer them. All he does is issue generalizations, vague promises and statements that could mean anything. "We've got to do better, raise standards for all kids, turn around the struggling schools, blah, blah."

This is 1999 all over again, except this time, it's the U.S. secretary of education leading the charge, not the NCTM. If we believe that Arne Duncan has all of the answers, we have to remember that he won't be there forever. He is setting precedents that will last for generations.

But I don't believe he has all of the answers. I doubt he has a clue of what's needed in Spokane, WA. He also doesn't have the constitutional right to tell anyone here what to do. But he doesn't see it that way.

In ten years, we will look back on this time and see it as the beginning of another betrayal of the children and another gargantuan taxpayer extortion.

I'm also worried that we won't be able to look back on it as clearly, with the same sense of government transparency or the same ultimate freedom to choose our own path for our own children.

There is no stopping the Duncan agenda, that's for sure. It's his way or the highway. And few of our state or local leaders have the will or the courage to say no to this.

I guess time will tell. We few weeds who are sticking our noses out of the federally mandated lawn must struggle for breath and do our best to duck whenever the Duncan lawnmower comes around.

dan dempsey said...

RttT was so well greased coming out of the gate there was hardly time to mount opposition.