Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Here's the next mouthpiece of the Administration

In a previous post, I wondered which paper will post BushCo talking points next.

Actually, looks like new talking points are out, and AP has graciously stepped up to the plate. Apparently, AP had the inside track to the newest BushCo changes to NCLB.

AP reports:
In the first example, the Education Department plans to give some states more freedom in how they test hundreds of thousands of children with milder disabilities. But only states that can prove progress or a strong commitment to improve will be seriously considered for that flexibility, administration officials told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
Pray, tell me how does one operationalize fairly 'progress' and 'strong commitment'. This sounds like a step towards BushCo thuggery to me. And note the gratuitous use by AP of the BushCo propaganda term: freedom.

Still more thuggery:
The idea is to get something in return for offering such flexibility, said one official familiar with the changes, such as increased learning and "narrowing the achievement gap."
Ahhhh. Blackmail, too.

Oh-kay. BushCo changes seem so diabolical. They come with:

1. A catch. Doncha think this might be vulnerable to politicization just a wee bit? The message is: you've got to behave and you've got to give us something in return.
2. Vagueness. Very unbecoming for a bill that's all about standardized testing and results.
3. A chance to split the opposition just in case the states decide to rally together. Could be BushCo trying to manipulate the states into vying for favorite son status.

Further reading of the article yields a few more precious details but from what I could gather, BushCo is offering changes to the special ed law, while something, is not much. It's like giving candy to the starving and saying: hey look, we're good folks.

For BushCo to offer any sort of change bespeaks of the pressure they must be under. This is probably some sort of valve release, with the hopes of continuing to confuse and perhaps even divide the opposition.

You see, they can once again point to their nobility and pureness of purpose: we are such good people, how can you criticize us when we are making changes in the name of freedom and good faith?

And the solution: do not buy into their arguments with linear rationality. Logic doesn't count; it's the narrative and the ideology that counts.

Which means we have to tell our story, our own personal story of what's going on with details about how it's hurting our kids.

We also need to get to the heart of the problem: democracy depends on a good public education system which encourages kids to be original thinkers, to be creative, and to be constructive participants in this society. A good public education requires adequate funding. NCLB is but one vehicle for privatization of public education.

NCLB is seriously flawed. It must be changed else we'll lose our public education system.