Monday, November 22, 2004

Honeymoon continues for Spellings

For those who think the Center for American Progress is giving Spellings a hard time, just go ahead and read what they say.
This week, President Bush tapped longtime friend and close adviser Margaret Spellings to take the reigns as the new Secretary of Education. Analysts expect "no major change in direction in education policy with Spellings at the helm of the department." The Christian Science Monitor points out that "Spellings has no experience managing a big organization, and the Education Department has been a challenge for anyone taking it on." What she does have: deep, unquestioning loyalty to the president. One of the major challenges Spellings faces now is inadequate federal funding for the nation's schools. As the Boston Globe writes, "As Bush has spent more than $1 trillion on tax cuts and two wars, funding for No Child Left Behind has been horribly paltry." In his new term, President Bush is already pushing for greater accountability standards by pushing for two more years of testing in high school grades. Accountability minus resources, however, equals failure; one of Spellings's first goals must be to get schools the money they need to comply with the mandate already set.
It's pretty mild although some in the edublog world may need to twist this into being something harsh.

If anything, CFAP continues to miss the big picture problem of NCLB. (Hint to CFAP: read this). Full funding won't solve the NCLB problem. Besides, the calls for full funding probably won't go far with Spellings at the helm. As we gear up for Round 2 of BushCo, I predict an unusually long Spellings honeymoon with the media.

While people gab that she'll face a rocky tenure with state legislatures trying to cope with NCLB, I doubt this will happen.

She's a FOB and a FOR (friend of Bush, friend of Rove), for goodness' sake.

And she plays hardball, as we've found out.