Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Endgoal: privatized schools

This is old relative to the news cycle but worth reviewing. This valuable editorial in support of NCLB clearly lays out the strategy and the endgoal: private schools (and vouchers for private schools).

Note the strategy to be used.
Therefore, the top education reform goal of a second Bush administration should be to revisit NCLB’s accountability and choice provisions when the act’s reauthorization comes due in 2006. Since the branding of so many schools as “failing” has vexed public school officials around the country, President Bush, along with his education reform allies in Congress, could offer Democrats this deal: “Let’s agree to limit the number of schools considered failing, but if we can’t find room in successful public schools for the kids from the really bad schools, then at least let’s give those children a chance at private schools.
Using the built in trap, that impossibly high bar set up for failure for most inner city schools because the kids fail to take the tests well, we'll say: tut, tut. Let's give you kids a chance to go to private schools.
And then, perhaps, the idea of school choice will begin to seem as sensible and commonplace as compulsory schooling itself.
And see how this guy frames the deal: if you disagree with him, your ideas are not sensible and commonplace.

The editorialist complains about how much DC schools cost. True; what a horrendous issue that is. But take a look at his solution: he wants to do the equivalent of a nuke and start over with private schools. All that government money can help fund private schools. Yes, indeedy.

If you follow this line of reasoning, it seems he's saying public schools are not worth fixing. I have a hard time with this type of fatalistic thinking since my kid goes to public school.

This article highlights a very peculiar phenomena I've been noticing. The Republican/conservative education articles in favor of NCLB usually say a great deal about their efforts to get the agenda through. On the other side, the anti-NCLB crew tends to blame the Republican/conservative guys for all the problems.

What's odd, over and over again, is how no one in the media discusses the role of the so-called centrist Dems. Their public policies form the basis for NCLB, and, not surprisingly, they are staunch supporters of this bill. Try critizing NCLB or them; you might be subject to the equivalent of a feeding frenzy.