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March 19, 2003

Bush the Fuckup- Education

Having achieved a diplomatic failure of epic proportions on the foreign policy front, it's worth emphasizing how much his incompetence extends from foreign to domestic policy.

We knew Bush was stingy and cold-hearted in refusing real funding for education, despite his "compassionate conservative" rhetoric, but even Republicans at the state level are marveling/cursing the completely incompetent design of the No Child Left Behind Act:

As I travel the country, I find nearly universal contempt for this noble-sounding law signed last year by President Bush. Tom Horne, the Republican state education commissioner of Arizona, and Tom Watkins, the Democratic commissioner of Michigan, sound virtually alike in their criticisms. The only difference is that Mr. Horne emphasizes that he admires the president and supports his intent, it's just that many of the details are bad.
Apparently, the testing rules are so badly designed, fail to take into extent differences between urban and rural schools, or recognize gains by poor schools, that 85% of schools will be labelled "failing":
How do you defend a law that is likely to result in 85 percent of public schools in America being labeled failing based on a single test score?
How indeed? But then, extensive studies show that Bush's education reforms in Texas were a failure.

On the domestic front, Bush has had two major legislative victories-- his tax cuts and this education bill. The tax cuts were supposed to revive the economy without exploding the deficit. Instead, the economy has plunged while deficits have exploded. Such an abject failure that Bush is now claiming that he needed more tax cuts, a stupid solution but an admission that his first proposal was a failure.

Now it is clear that his education policy is a failure before it's even been implemented, underfunded and badly designed, imposing useless tests that impose unfunded mandates on states struggling with their own fiscal crises.

No wonder Bush needs a war to coverup his abject and total failure as a President.

Posted by Nathan at March 19, 2003 06:09 AM

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Comments

It's beginning to sound more like an "all children left behind" program, isn't it? Hey, if we make all the schools in America as sucky as what we've done to Texas, those (formerly) at the bottom will be on an even standing with the ones that were once good.

It's the reverse of the Lake Wobegon effect.

Posted by: N in Seattle at March 19, 2003 09:58 AM

Your last line exactly expresses my view. I'd add the "War on Terra", which consists of not investigating 9/11 or doing anything to offend Saudi Arabia or Pakistan. Or Yemen.

Posted by: John Isbell at March 19, 2003 10:59 AM

If many schools are deemed "failing", then the next step is to privatize them - at least that's what Bush will argue.

Posted by: Quiddity at March 19, 2003 01:14 PM

Sounds like more ammo for Howard Dean as he assails the "No Schoolboard Left Standing" Act.

Posted by: Luke Francl at March 19, 2003 04:20 PM

I think that quiddity nailed it. Bush wants to destroy the public schools and replace them with a voucher system. I have something up at my URL about the Republican chairman of the Oregon Senate education committee, whose primary goal is vouchers.

Posted by: zizka at March 19, 2003 10:46 PM

Hi,
You know Mr. Newman, Its kinda hard for me to believe you've reprimanded certain people for there lack of respect while you show no respect for others. -Still Respectfully
Robert S. Morgan

Posted by: Robert S. Morgan at March 21, 2003 10:36 PM

I once opposed vouchers and supported public schools until my sister got a job in the public schools in California.

She admits, and Democrats have no problem admitting that schools suck. Consider that a established fact - we're among the worst in the world, and CA is near the bottom of the US. So Dem's demand more money to make schools better (where is all the billions we've added already? have things improved yet?).

And now you're complaining about testing that will confirm out status, and about vouchers?

I suppose it boils down to this. If something sucks so bad that it doesn't improve no matter how much money we throw at it...

No wait, let me try again. If something is bad, what's wrong with giving citizen's choices...

Wait, try this: if I pay $7000 for my kid to go to public schools, and they suck, why can't I have the choice to take that money in cash and go to another school... not cash, really, but maybe... I dunno.. a voucher for education.

For a party that believes in the freedom of choice to murder infants, why can't we have freedom of choice to educate our kids where we want? Keep the government away from my body... and my education... so to speak.

In fact, then you could choose the kind of school you support. Some can allow prayers, others don't, some teach evolution, others don't... some schools might even fire bad teachers and pay the good ones a premium salary. Some teach in english, some bilingual. Wow... a utopia in education. The best will remain, and stupid ones will get no students.

In fact, take the best state-sponsored school in the nation and put it up against the best private school 10 years after vouchers are started. Give them the same money, and watch which system gives more directly to the classroom. Watch, that is by checking the student's scores. The result will be public school kids cleaning the private school kid's toilets.

There is an answer, by the way, to why they won't allow vouchers - they know that 100% of kids will attend other schools that aren't wasting 90% of the money enforcing stupid rules and paying tenured worthless teachers and administrators.

So I say - give us a choice and see what happens. As a Pharisee once said about Jesus "If he's not real, he will be forgotten. If he IS real, no man can ever stop his mission".

The USA became great by working hard and thru competition. Imagine a world of private schools fighting for students and the best reputation and the best price... and the best results.

By the way, feel free to keep the DOEd only for the purpose of testing students when they come out of the schools to make sure they're learning.

Posted by: Joe S at September 12, 2003 05:04 PM

I have briefly read some of your writings and your Bio-sheet. It is amusing and sad at the same time. You are obviously a very desparate and lonly person who is lost trying to find out why others in society don't feel the same way you do about the greatness of this country and the vast freedoms we enjoy. Marxist dogma is the shrine you worship at and you hate the opposite which is a Conservative Free market system. Try getting a job in the private sector before you label the rest of society as the great unwashed masses.

Mike in Colorado

Posted by: Michael at September 12, 2003 08:19 PM

Hey! Out here in the sticks where I come from there is only ONE school. Vouchers may be ok in an urban society, but what about us here that have no other school to chose from? Should we be forced to pay our tax dollars so urban elites can send their children to something other than public schools when we have no choice? Think about it- city folks. It might be good for you, but here in the rural areas we DO NOT HAVE A CHOICE OTHER THAN OUR LOCAL PUBLIC SCHOOL. I live in a small town of about 500 citizens and we are funding YOUR vouchers, and I'm damned mad about it. How about a tax on municipalities of over 50,000 population to buy Lear jets so our rural students can commute to "better" schools? Sounds fair to me. I invite your comments.

Posted by: Milo Anderon at December 9, 2003 01:32 AM

I am so glad that others of you, like me have lots of money, support segregation, gains and losses of competition, and our natural, god given rights to discriminate. I only wish that I like my grate great-grandfather could have lived in a time where the poor, Negro, and other minority populations were stupid by default and not allowed into our schools.

Through the free market we have proven that we are the better, smarter people. So it only makes sense that we implement our economic superiority with a corporate educational system. One which charges top-dollar for top-education. Those born in poverty are naturally stupid so they can go to a non-funded school to learn to clean our toilets. I for one fully support separate but equal statuses!

Posted by: Up Yours at December 14, 2003 10:02 AM

I am so glad that others of you, like me have lots of money, support segregation, gains and losses of competition, and our natural, god given rights to discriminate. I only wish that I like my grate great-grandfather could have lived in a time where the poor, Negro, and other minority populations were stupid by default and not allowed into our schools.

Through the free market we have proven that we are the better, smarter people. So it only makes sense that we implement our economic superiority with a corporate educational system. One which charges top-dollar for top-education. Those born in poverty are naturally stupid so they can go to a non-funded school to learn to clean our toilets. I for one fully support separate but equal statuses!

Posted by: Up Yours at December 14, 2003 10:03 AM

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