Strong-Arm Gate Day VII…And A Tease

Still can’t get enough of US DOE political hijinks? Wash Post editorial board piles-on big time and joins the growing drumbeat of calls for the money to be returned (perhaps so it can be used for more cost-effective payoffs?).

Mojo, the newish blog on Mother Jones, which incidentally is well-written, snappy, and fun to read weighs-in here. Key line:

All told, I like NCLB, and there are quite a few liberals out there who would agree with me. The program’s not perfect by any means—for starters, it badly needs better mechanisms for dealing with those schools that are failing—but it’s a good first step on the way to preserving and strengthening the public school system.

Also in Wash Post, George Will jumps-in. But in a Pavlovian flourish he drags President Clinton into this calling him the “teachers unions’ poodle.”

Right. They loved the 1994 ESEA reauthorization and the Clinton – Riley push on standards. The national testing proposal went over big with them, they can’t get enough testing! The work on low-performing schools? Hoo boy they just eat that up! And, of course they’re ga ga over charter schools! Another Clinton priority.

Aside from the tiredness* of it, it’s a caricature every bit as inaccurate as the caricature of Bush as relentlessly bent on privatizing public schools and every bit as unproductive to real discussion of complicated issues.

One place this story might go…lots of gossip about various groups around Washington that have received federal grant money and then caught flack/pressure from the Department when they go off-message (for instance criticizing No Child). What’s interesting is that it’s not the ELC’s of this world but rather more establishment groups…as Drudge might say…developing…

*Bill Buckley said that in a debate, the first person resorting to insults is the one who has lost. We can safely update that axiom and say that considering he’s been out of office for four years, as soon as Republicans insult Clinton, it’s a good bet they’ve lost whatever point they were arguing.

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