Saturday, January 22, 2005

Another one gets it

From Commondreams:
...centrist Democrats endorse the Bush administration's basic (faulty) analyses and assumptions. They agree there is a real "crisis of accountability" in the public schools, a crisis that can only be met through the institution of high-stakes standardized testing programs. In so doing, centrists ignore sound research such as that carried out by Stanford economists Martin Carnoy and Susanna Loeb, who show that the implementation of high-stakes testing programs pushes "low-achieving" students out of school, thereby worsening the problems of those least advantaged by society.

Moreover, they dismiss work such as that done by University of Wisconsin Professor Michael Apple, whose research on democratic schools confirms what many parents and teachers know to be true: rigorous, creative teaching, not kill-and-drill test-driven instruction, fosters students' development into critically minded democratic citizens. Throughout recent campaigns, however, centrist Democrats have ignored this research and refused to present to voters either an honest analysis of the state of education or an alternative, progressive plan to strengthen America's public schools.

Instead, on matters of educational policy, middle-of-the-road Democrats endorse and adopt the language of the right in hopes of prying loose a few moderate Republican voters. Thus, as with their policy statements concerning other issues, centrist Democrats' ill-defined analyses of and plans for America's schools are just watered-down strains of the Bush plan. Howard Dean said it best in his October 2003 speech in Madison: "We can't beat George Bush by being Bush Lite, by voting for war, and Bush's taxes, and No Child Left Behind, which really means No School Left Standing. ... No wonder we can't beat George Bush. People can't tell the difference between us."
Good article but he's way too soft on the DLC. Call them the corporate Dems. Geez.

'Centrist' is what they call themselves in order to protray themselves as socially acceptable. It's time to stop using their language. They aren't progressives despite their penchant for forming new groups with that moniker.

Unfortunately here in CA, Ahnold has co-opted NCLB's covert agenda. He's going to make sure he destroys public education before NCLB gets to it.