Monday, May 07, 2007
April 21, 2007
(See updates 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 below)
This post has been moved to the top of the site. Original date shown above.
I haven't done a lot of teaching in my life. I was an instructor in broadcast journalism for a year back in the 80's, and I taught general broadcasting technique at a couple of broadcasting schools for a while. Recently, however, due to some...shall we say, professional reverses, I signed up to become a substitute teacher in the school system in my county.
I've learned a lot in the short time I've been doing that, but mostly what I've learned is that most of the people whose regular, day-to-day, year-to-year living is made by teaching in our public schools are sick to effin' death of the No Child Left Behind Act.
And apparently, with good reason. The entire act is a multi-layered bureaucratic boondoggle that, far from facilitating teaching and learning, seems mostly to consist of mandating rules on teachers that force them to do that most heinous of educational acts: teaching to the tests.
The whys and wherefores of that would fill, in fact have filled several books. Suffice to say that jargon is king, and teaching materials are forced down the teachers' throats, whether the kids are actually learning anything from the techniques and materials or not.
And based on my short experience as a teacher, I'd have to say that in a significant number of cases, they're not.
I wondered why this was so when I first started subbing. I mean, even if the teachers do have to make sure the kids pass the standardized tests, why wasn't it still possible to teach a genuine curriculum even with those restrictions?
Today, an article in the Washington Post called Key Initiative of 'No Child' Under Federal Investigation brought the question, if not the local-level answer, into something like crystal clear focus: the Bush administration is using our national educational system as one more corruption-filled piggy bank for their big contributors, who as always are NOT delivering what they're being paid for, and are being grossly OVERpaid in the process.
Not content with the ill-gotten gains derived from the Halliburton no-bid contracts, and all the rest of the war profiteering, and the Duke Cunningham and Jack Abramoff and Rick Renzi and Tom DeLay and his wife and daughter and Michael Brown and Monica Goodling and Paul Wolfowitz and Reps. Jerry Lewis and Gary G. Miller and John Doolittle and Tim Murphy and former Rep. Curt Weldon and his daughter and who knows how many other cash-grabbing scandals, the Bushies are now seen for the past several years to have had a hand in the cookie jar of our kids' futures. They're stealing from our CHILDREN, for God's sake!
And this scandal, but one more on top of the thousands of others, will maybe get a day or two of traction, if that, and then the thieves will just go right on back to business as usual. There is NEVER any accountability for these people, and the rape of America just goes on and on. Even when they get caught, nothing changes.
Man, this shit makes me tired.
UPDATE 1 : Got an email from a friend asking how Goodling was included in the "cash-grabbing scandals". Here's my point: For at least the past 6 years, since two years after she graduated from a poorly-respected FOURTH-TIER law school, she has been taking a pretty hefty salary from the American people for a job that, now the pressure is on, she is clearly unqualified to do. At even the prospect of Senate questioning she has folded like a house of tissue-paper cards and gone into victim mode. I'd call that theft. I'd call it a good reason for Congress to insist she pay back her salary, though I know that will never happen.
We have yet to see her fingerprints directly on any transactions that steer large amounts of taxpayer money to unqualified "consultants" or the like, but that's only because she has hidden herself from the entire world, and promised to take the Fifth if anyone asks her even so much as her full name under oath.
So it's early days yet for Bush's Monica, but I have "faith" in her finally to show up as corrupt as her handlers.
UPDATE 2: Lest we forget, even the Bush family is or was directly profiting from NCLB: No Bush Left Behind: The President's brother Neil is making hay from school reform
Remember how Mama Babs actually defended her cub dipping into the federal honeypot?
UPDATE 3: Just for another little glimpse into the Bush family's dedication to education, take a brief look at this one: Jeb Bush WILL be Memorialized!!
UPDATE 4: The college loan people have been gaming the system for years - and here's one instance where Clinton personally sought to put a stop to it, and partially succeeded. Apparently he didn't count on just how corrupt and thieving these bastards can be: Whistleblower on Student Aid is Vindicated.
These people will steal the paint off the walls if they can turn a buck on it...
Friday, May 04, 2007
by Rich Miles
May 4, 2007
Originally posted as a comment on Salon.com at this link:
Read the above-linked Tim Grieve story on Salon. It's not long.
Then read this story about Scott Bloch's and the Office of Special Counsel's "investigation" of three separate WH scandals:
Then finally, for now, read THIS story about the investigation by a WH "panel", whatever that means, into allegations of wrongdoing by Stuart W. Bowen Jr., the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction
They're not very difficult dots to connect, really. Every one of the above, and certainly more besides that are going on under the radar (so far), are attempts by this corrupt administration to appear to be doing something to address serious issues and allegations, while in reality - remember reality? - doing all in their power to shield the guilty parties, especially those in the top levels of government, almost certainly including those in the White House and Bush himself.
How much of this filth must we take? I mean really, how long will we be lied to, and OBVIOUSLY lied to, before people take to the streets and scream, finally, loudly and long enough to be heard?
Our government is LYING TO US DAILY about stuff that really matters, not just the piddling crap that all governments lie about, but real, honest to god life and death stuff. Why are we allowing it still?