William L. Taylor, a fixture in several major civil rights organizations, said he had listened with chagrin as Democratic critiques of No Child Left Behind, often echoing the platform of the National Education Association, began to sound increasingly like efforts to blunt its impact. The Armstrong Williams bribery report, he went on, only gives aid and comfort to those foes, though they lack a plausible alternative of their own.
“It will increase the cynicism,” said Mr. Taylor, who chairs the Citizens’ Commission on Civil Rights, a private bipartisan group. “The administration has simply shot itself in the foot, and for no good reason.”
He continued, “The thing that worries me most is that this law is only going to work if the people who are in the system – teachers, administrators – can become believers and see the positive side, rather than see it as a law that’s out to get them.”
And the Ed Trust weighs in. What a disaster.
The President is doing an education event this morning in suburban Virginia. Will he mention this latest fiasco? AP’s Deb Riechmann (once a star of the education beat) previews the event. By the way, J.E.B. Stuart High, where the event is, is a fine high school. Still, with all the money the Bush team is investing in public relations you’d think someone would’ve told them that it’s a bad idea to have the event at a school named for a dead Confederate. Seems like an avoidable case of what the pros call “bad optics” and a good way to muddle the message especially because there has been controversy about this school’s name and Confederate names on schools in general (pun, of course, intended…). And, this could be wrong, but it doesn’t look like the school is making AYP…Uh oh.