Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Bush and tribal education

We find this particular executive order to fall in the "cover your behind" pile. Come election time, we wonder if Bush will make some sort of statement about how he really really wants to improve tribal education and he's done something about it.
    Tribal leaders were at the White House on Friday to watch President Bush sign an executive order aimed at improving the education of all American Indian and Alaska native children.

    The executive order creates a federal working group, co-chaired by Interior Secretary Gale Norton and Education Secretary Rod Paige, which is charged with helping American Indian and Alaska native children meet the standards set by the No Child Left Behind Act.

    Bush quoted the late Sam Ahkeah, former chairman of the Navajo Nation Council, who once said: "We must encourage our young people to go into education. We need thousands of young lawyers and doctors and dentists and accountants and nurses and secretaries."

    The commission will consult with tribal leaders and meet with members of a National Advisory Council on Indian Education. They were sworn in on Friday by Paige, who, under the order, is to develop recommendations to improve the teaching of reading.

    "Our kids have got to learn to read," Bush said. "We want to improve preparation for college and the work force. We want there to be high high school graduation rates."

Yup, right, but where's the beef? This executive order 'studies' how to improve education, a mighty first step but note there is no plan to implement anything.