Monday, July 26, 2004

Barbara Miner on educating all children

NCLB is “like a Russian novel,” says Scott Howard, former superintendent in Perry, Ohio. “That’s because it’s long, it’s complicated and, in the end, everybody gets killed.”
In Barbara Miner's piece on NCLB.
The right to a free, public education is enshrined in the constitutions of all 50 states. That right is under attack by the Bush administration and its allies.

Using the club of its shamelessly misnamed No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), the Bush agenda punishes and sets up public schools for failure while promoting privatization schemes that funnel dollars to for-profit and religiously based programs.

At stake is not just the future of public education, but the very concept of a public sector that serves the common good. If public schools—in particular, urban schools—are decimated, can any other public institution survive the conservative privatization mania?
One quibble with her article, which goes for nearly all articles against NCLB: blindness towards one major supporter of this bill. I would say, for each mention of BushCo, please keep in mind the so-called centrist Dems also spawned NCLB and are still staunch supporters. Saying so-and-so voted for this bill doesn't help us or Kerry. This approach is maddeningly superficial and doesn't come close to addressing the more serious impulse towards corporate plundering supported by this Democratic faction under the guise of code words. The problem lies with the so-called centrist Dems, who are not going to let NCLB change substantially without putting up a nasty fight.