Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Bush's war on children

Ed Naha: 'Bush's war on children'
Posted on Wednesday, December 07 @ 10:05:23 EST

Ed Naha

The day before Thanksgiving, the U.S. government continued its war on American children when Chief U.S. District Judge Bernard A. Friedman threw out a lawsuit filed by the National Education Association and school districts in three states, geared towards blocking Bush's Draconian "No Child Left Behind" debacle.

The NEA, a union with 2.7 million members, filed the suit along with districts in Michigan, Vermont and Texas (oops) as well as 10 NEA chapters in Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Utah, seeking to define NCLB as a classic Bush bait-and-switch "unfunded mandate." The suit stated that, since the federal government wasn't paying for implementation of the plan, schools weren't required to have to comply with it.

The judge kicked them in the teeth, opining that "Congress has appropriated significant funding" and has the clout to require states to do what they say in exchange for the moolah. (Sort of the educational version of "The Abramoff Principle.")

The fact is: the law is anti-middle class and anti-poor. It also knocks public education on its ass, with Bush seeing education as a way for teaching kids discipline through punishment and fear of failure as opposed to allowing kids to blossom scholastically, artistically and culturally. In short, it reduces children to droning robots parroting facts without understanding them and encourages teachers to just "teach the test."...