Wednesday, June 05, 2013

More Posturing

I think the Senate is merely playing a shell game here trying to "reform" NCLB. NCLB was dead as soon as Obama took office, and his henchman, Arne Duncan, decided to make education policy a million times worse with his utterly stupid and unconstitutional Race to the Top bullshit.

In fact, it sounds like business as usual:

The state-by-state approach to education standards is already largely in place in the 37 states that received waivers to the requirements in exchange for customized school improvement plans. The 1,150-page proposal from Senate education committee chairman Tom Harkin would require some of those states to tinker with their improvement plans and force the other remaining states to develop their own reform efforts. Education Secretary Arne Duncan would still have final say over those improvement plans, and schools would still have to measure students' achievements.

Since the two national teachers' "unions," NEA and AFT, are supporting this, it is very possible, even probable, that the situation will be worse for teachers.

Are RTTT and the awful Common Core Standards, the Bill Gates-backed scheme to try and force a European "national standards" policy on a country far bigger, far more diverse, and with a tradition of local control, affected? If not, the Senate shouldn't even bother.

Duncan has pushed Congress to update the law to accommodate challenges officials did not anticipate when the measure was passed on a bipartisan basis in 2001. But absent congressional action, Duncan has been giving states permission to ignore parts of the law that are unworkable in exchange for detailed school improvement plans.

Duncan was supposed to follow the law, not create a law of his own. The bastard should have been impeached for Race to the Top.

It sounds like the Senate proposal just leaves the current mess in place with the utterly incompetent Duncan having dictatorial powers over state and local governments.

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