I’ve Got Money; Are You Available?

WASHINGTON - MARCH 26: Stacks of one dollar bi...
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News item: Gov. David A. Paterson on Thursday proposed a host of changes in state education law, including eliminating the cap on the number of charter schools, which he said would make the state more likely to receive $700 million in federal grant money. (NY Times 1/8/2010)

If we ever needed proof that – despite all the promises, platitudes and protestations – no politician gives a damn about students, this is it.

From the moment President Obama renamed No Child Left Behind (a giant, expensive race to mediocrity) with the equally catchy and vacuous Race To the Top, governors and state legislatures have been eager to lay down and spread them as any Nevada hooker offered the right price.

Harsh?

Perhaps, but not nearly as harsh as the way those officials charged with making the policies that rule their educational lives treat students.

Just so I am not misunderstood, let me say it loud and clear:

Nothing any politician says or does about education is about children.

Nothing.

Everything they do and say is about money, power, or reelection, usually all three simultaneously.

This Race to the Top is just another attempt to hold the gun of money against the head of state government and attempting to justify it by claiming the gun holds a silver bullet.

I don’t know what races President Obama, Governor Patterson or any other governor shining their red light has watched, but every race I’ve seen has had a small number of winners, usually one, and a much larger number of losers.

That’s right.

Our persuasive President’s education plan promotes there being a large number of education losers.

This is why he, Duncan, Klein and Rhee despise teachers so much. Teachers know there are no silver bullets.

None.

Not charter schools, not standardized assessments. not centralized authority and not union busting.

But also not technology, not better-trained teachers, not smaller classes and not fewer exams.

Some combination of all the above may do wonders, but there are no silver bullets.

None.

Governor Patterson, that gun held against your head holds blanks. Sure it makes a loud bang, but it will not hurt you.

The only ones hurt will be the students.

I guess that’s okay with you.

After all, it is not about them, is it?

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