Friday, July 16, 2004

Rod Paige criticizes the NAACP

Rod Paige attacks the NAACP in the very safe WSJ, behind the subscription wall no doubt to keep the riffraff like me from seeing it.  Susan Ohanian has a copy of it on her site. His accusations ring true for me but not in the way he would like me to believe.
I have a message for the NAACP's Julian Bond and Kweisi Mfume, who have accused black conservatives of being the "puppets" of white people, unable to think for ourselves: You do not own, and you are not the arbiters of, African-American authenticity. I am a lifelong member of the NAACP. I have a great respect for the organization. Its historical leaders, all visionary thinkers, have been responsible for helping to advance the struggle of African Americans over the past century, making our nation a more equitable and race-blind society. Sadly, the current NAACP leadership has managed to take a proud, effective organization in a totally new direction: naked partisan politics, pure and simple.
It goes on.
In particular, Mr. Bond and Mr. Mfume have done a great disservice to our organization, and to the founders of the civil-rights movement, with their hateful and untruthful rhetoric about Republicans and President Bush.
Amazing. Projection.
Update: PFAW sees a larger picture, and I agree, this is part of the Dubya campaign to diss NAACP.

TALKING BEHIND THEIR BACKS: In instead of attending the convention and confronting legitimate criticism of his policies, Bush deployed officials this week to  blast (Seattle paper here)  the nation's largest civil rights organization. Most notably, education secretary Rod Paige  attacked (the NAACP in the Wall Street Journal)(warning: requires subscription  , calling its criticism of Bush's policies "counterproductive, damaging and a betrayal of the organization's own origins." Paige said the NAACP attacked No Child Left Behind "merely because of its origins in the Bush administration." Left unmentioned was the fact Bush  has not properly funded (Edworkforce report here)  his education initiative, with judges in some states finding "hugely insufficient dollars" going to all districts, " particularly those with poor minority students (nytimes here) ."

However, I take issue with their comment about funding, and I'm disappointed with their rebuttal. That's not the only problem with the current education bill; it punishes schools without providing money to help them improve and the sole focus is on a standardized test, a test which measures something but what? I'm not convinced standardized tests are complete measures of whether a kid is getting a good education or not. Blind acceptance of the 'power' of standardized test results scare me because I know these tests are flawed. They measure how well one takes the test but they don't accurately measure the 'I got a good education from this school' factor.