File this in the catching up with stuff bin ...
I happened to be quickly skimming last week's edition of the Hippo while sipping coffee this morning and noticed the latest Granite Views column by Jody Reese knocking Republicans at the Statehouse for trying to return $85 million in No Child Left Behind money to the federal government.
Right out of the gate, Reese makes a big blunder.
Reece writes: "It was much-ballyhooed non-partisan legislation supported by George W. Bush. It was, in a phrase, compassionate conservatism."
First, the legislation wasn't "non-partisan" - it was bi-partisan, and that was part of the problem! Yes, the idea of testing to come up with better, national results was W's and was a campaign promise, something also championed by Bill Clinton before W. was elected/selected. But the bill was created by Republicans John Boehner and our former Sen. Judd Gregg, as well as Democrats George Miller and Ted Kennedy on the other side. Funny how that gets left out of Reece's column. In fact, of the four, Teddy was the major champion. He wanted this. The problem was, after getting the law passed, no one wanted to fund it. As well, teaching to the test, as everyone notes, doesn't guarantee knowledge. It guarantees memorization, that's it.
Isn't it interesting how so many folks can't just let W. go and move on?
I mean, his presidency was disastrous, we know that, but it's
been more than three years now. Move on. Reece isn't a wailing
socialist, BTW. Politically, he's more of a lite-Libertarian business person
in his writing. But really, let's move on, shall we?
Second, the bigger problem, and what is the concern of everyone, something that isn't mentioned in the column, is that for every dollar that comes in from the federal government via NCLB, another dollar and a half to two is needed in expenses to meet the federal obligation! It's the strings that are attached to the NCLB funds that are the problem and nowhere in Reece's column does he note this. This is why so many people want to refuse the federal money - so they don't have to spend even more to meet the federal obligation. And complaints about the strings are a bi-partisan issue. No one likes them and a lot of districts want to opt out of NCLB.
Reece falsely likens NCLB funds to bringing home the bacon, says our federal delegation needs to worry about this, and then compares the importance of spending on education instead of prisons. Well, he's partially correct. The federal delegation should fix or get rid of this program and yeah, it's better to spend money on education than prisons. But NCLB is not bringing home the bacon. It's like dragging the catnip mouse in front of your cat but never allowing the cat to get the mouse. It has been a disaster and should be repealed.