Friday, January 06, 2006

Since You Brought It Up Mr. President...

In today's speechifying, W, brought up his record in Texas dealing with education. The jury is still out, but mainly, the results ain't all that good.
I remember when I was the governor of Texas, I found some school systems that simply, I guess, didn't believe that certain kids could read and write, so they just shuffled them through. They said, it's much easier than taking on the tough task of analyzing and correcting, so let's just quit. Let's just say, okay, we'll just kind of socially promote you. It makes us look good on paper. But it's not treating American families well. And it's not setting that foundation to make sure our children can get the job skills necessary to fill the jobs of -- or the skills necessary to fill the jobs of the 21st century.
Again, he is trying to connect dots without providing any evidence. But have a gander at some of the more scaything critiques of his work on Texas and you will see why we should be scared every time he talks about education and suggests he knows something about it.

Critique 1 - But when the ad claims that Bush's Texas reforms "produced dramatic results" it omits a key fact: those results were inflated to some extent by school officials who reported false information about drop-out rates to improve their statistics

Cirtique 2 -
It was called the “Texas Miracle,” a phrase you may remember because President Bush wanted everyone to know about it during his 2000 presidential campaign...Now, as Correspondent Dan Rather reported last winter, it turns out that some of those miraculous claims which Houston made were wrong.

Critique 3 - The pattern of Bush's education policy has been to mollify the teacher unions and the education bureaucracy. Former Republican national committeewoman Susan Feldman speculates that Bush appointed Moses because it's "what would get him the most points" with the Texas Education Agency.

Critique 4 - Shortly after Bush took office in 1995 the Legislature rewrote state laws to require state sex education classes to "present abstinence as the preferred behavior" and to teach that condom use wasn't necessarily effective...When asked what abstinence education has done for Texas teens, Sullivan said teen births in Texas were lower than the national average. But that isn't true, in fact quite the opposite.

You get the idea - doing a google search will yield many more such critiques - so, we should ask Mr. President, why does he think he did such a splendid job in Texas and please prove it? If he can, then maybe he might have a credible leg to stand on when he suggests "no child left behind" actually works. But does it?

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