Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Obama Education Pick BFF with NCLB

But wait, there's more! All of the test-crazy, data-obsessed, name-calling, teacher-shaming, kid-harming, fact-manufacturing, union-busting, privatization schemes of the Bush Administration are on track for another four years under the leadership of President-Elect Barack Obama and his unqualified basketball buddy nominee for Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan.

Make no mistake. The education policies of Arne Duncan and No Child Left Behind are indistinguishable. In fact, President Bush's trainwreck of an Secretary of Education, Margaret Spellings, practically nominated Duncan to be her successor four days ago.

Joking that she doesn't want to "hurt his chances," Spellings nevertheless put in a plug for Duncan during a trip to Chicago to help Mayor Daley dole out $350,000 in merit pay to outstanding teachers and school employees.

"He's a terrific school leader. I consider him a fellow reformer and someone who cares deeply about students. He'd be a great choice," Spellings said in a news conference at Westcott Elementary School, 409 W. 80th St.

Pressed on what makes Duncan special, Spellings said, "You all know. I mean--you live here with the guy, for goodness sake. He's a visionary leader. He's a guy who looks at results. He cares a lot about kids. He's focused and on point. He has a lot of support from this community."

Merit pay? Now that's change you can believe in!

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Saturday, May 3, 2008

I Told You So!

In 2004, I wrote an article about President Bush's half-baked ideas regarding reading instruction. Gary Stager on Direct Instruction exposed the Bush Administration's cozy relationship with publishers destined to profit from Reading First. To say that my publisher and owner of District Administration hated the article would be an understatement. He took the unprecedented step of apologizing for the article in the very next issue, before any reader would have had time to object. In fact, the mail received was incredibly supportive of my opinion and the facts were checked prior to publication.

In 2006 I wrote an article, Shocked! Shocked! Reading First Plagued by Corporate Welfare, Cronyism and Demonization, as a response to the revelations that Reading First was indeed a patronage program that had a lot more to do with ideology than helping children learn to read.

A couple of days ago, the Bush Department of Education released the results of a research study (you know how they LOVE research) on the efficacy of Reading First, a cornerstone of No Child Left Behind.

“Reading First did not improve students’ reading comprehension,” concluded the report, which was mandated by Congress and carried out by the Department of Education’s research arm, the Institute of Education Sciences. “The program did not increase the percentages of students in grades one, two or three whose reading comprehension scores were at or above grade level.”

Can you imagine how bad the results truly were if the spinmeisters in D.C. released conclusions this devastating to their phonics fixation?

Secretary Spelling's spokesperson said that the Secretary "planned to look at the study 'to inform our efforts,' and would 'look forward to reviewing the final report.'"

Spellings should resign and the President of the United States should apologize to every teacher and student for the bogus war of terror they reigned on America's public schools.

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Sunday, December 9, 2007

Keith Olbermann's Latest Special Comment

Whether you agree with his sentiment or not, you have to admire his courage, writing and passion.

This is an example of what makes America great. You can watch the above video clip on television without the secret police busting down your door, declaring you an enemy combatant and detaining you in an undisclosed location - for now.

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Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Article I Wish I had Written - 1

A few days ago I wrote the following article about the efficacy of "Baby Einstein," Finally, An Alarmist Study I Can Get Behind, for The Pulse: Education's Place for Debate.

I was pleased with the effort until I read Chris Kelly's Huffington Post article, Bush Baby Einstein. It's a doozy! He really connects the dots and tickles the funny bone.

Bravo Chris! I'm not worth! I'm not worthy!

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