Bush wanted to be the Education President,
March 6, 2002 11:28 AM   Subscribe

Bush wanted to be the Education President, not the Terrorism President. An older piece from The Nation on Bush's high stakes standardized testing from No Child Left Behind. It's not just oil companies that have the ear of the Chief, but the textbook industry, too.
posted by ahughey (14 comments total)
It's been a while since we had a Bush/education/testing post around here. Florida's FCAT testing this week and next has brought some focus to the topic locally.

The amount of time the test-taking and test-prepartion takes away from other school activities is getting ridiculous as schools struggle to boost their scores.

While some schools need "treats" to encourage students, some teachers would rather just Spay the FCAT.
posted by ahughey at 11:37 AM on March 6, 2002

The Bush family has been very good friends with the family that owns McGraw Hill for many generations. McGraw Hill is the #1 textbook printer
posted by KevinH at 12:28 PM on March 6, 2002

The Bush-McGraw relationship may have very well influenced the education bill, but it seems in spite of themselves they passed a good bill. Our system has been filled with fuzzy feel-good stuff for two long instead of hard numbers (testing). As long as the federal government pays for some or all of this testing, I think it will work out well.
posted by owillis at 12:45 PM on March 6, 2002

i am hard pressed to think of a u.s. president who has been more in need of an education than gee dubya.
posted by quonsar at 1:08 PM on March 6, 2002

Just one overly stressed student in the district threw up on his test booklet, making it a good testing day, said Jan Morphew, the director of research and accountability.


And as for the issue of students throwing up on their tests, there is a mandated procedure in place to deal with such test booklets, which still must be accounted for, Tyler noted. It involves Zip-Loc bags.

Holy freakin crap! Do these people have NO concept of what this beaurecratic testing nonsense does to kids?
posted by PrinceValium at 1:39 PM on March 6, 2002

i'm near houston, the local high school has TAAS pep rallies... ha hope bush can spread the fun to the other states too! :)
posted by rhyax at 1:48 PM on March 6, 2002

Our system has been filled with fuzzy feel-good stuff for two long instead of hard numbers (testing).

Ah yes! Of course, "results matter," and we should demand more "accountability" and follow "standards". How does the high-stakes test, especially as the single measure/point of failure, address any of these needs? I'll let someone else tackle the "fuzzy feel-good education" nonsense.

Holy freakin crap! Do these people have NO concept of what this beaurecratic testing nonsense does to kids?

Considering that time is alloted each day in classes to testing prep AND special classes are held each week for testing prep AND kids lose a whole week of school each semester to take the test, I'd say no, they have no idea.
posted by ahughey at 1:53 PM on March 6, 2002

I'm reading Another Planet, a sobering reminder that I'd better continue to cough up the money to keep my kids in private school.
posted by tippiedog at 2:08 PM on March 6, 2002

For a self-admitted liberal, and education minor in college...this is actually one of those (many) times that I wish that the feds could get OUT of education (in the sense of making standards and passing legislation). It just is not a Constitutional responsibility of the federal gov't. Alas, methinks this will never happen.
posted by PeteyStock at 2:41 PM on March 6, 2002

FWIW, the Bush education policy begins and ends at the White House. The testing initiative is top-down political maneuvering, rooted in absolutely no public policy whatsoever. In fact, the person appointed to head the federal education beauracracy, Secretary Rod Paige, was revealed last summer to be totally out of the loop with regard to White House education initiatives.

How many more American children will learn absolutely nothing for weeks in order to prepare for a test that is advertised to make or break their futures, just so their president can claim bragging rights in 2004? How lucky I am that I am seven years removed from high school.
posted by PrinceValium at 3:14 PM on March 6, 2002

My wife teaches kindergarten near Dallas, and she's been asked to tutor a student twice a week (no extra pay of course) in order to raise his score on the TAAS.

The kicker: he's not a low scoring student, but a minority student on the brink of scoring a little bit higher -- apparently, minority scores are weighted differently than non-minority (perhaps it's because there's less of them, I don't know). There's a whole category of kids who need to be tutored, but their scores were considered "too low to fix."
posted by 7sharp11 at 3:16 PM on March 6, 2002

this whole standardized testing is a waste of money and time. it shows that kids are behind. but it doesn't help the fact. instead you end up with teacher's whose jobs depend on their students scores against the benchmarks. so, not only does this teacher have to worry about what they are supposed to teach for the year, but also all the stuff the teachers before failed to teach the kids.

and this results in teachers teaching the kids how to take and pass the benchmark tests. the schools aren't doing any better. the kids aren't doing any better, unless you figure that learning how to take a standardized test gives them a head start in life. what the education system needs is a complete overhaul of how and what they spend their budget on. you can't tell me that new high schools need pools, weight rooms, tracks, and football fields. not when there are
schools in the same state that have their budgets frozen halfway through the year, making the teachers responsible for getting classroom supplies.

if bush, or any politician really wanted to make a difference in schools, they would actually go sit in a school and research the problems, talk with teachers and school staff, and then make desicsions on how to make things better. but seeing as how most of them are too lazy for something so resource intensive, we will probably end up with more of these lame standardized tests.
posted by chrisroberts at 3:37 PM on March 6, 2002

this whole standardized testing is a waste of money and time.

Tell me about it, my grade school was considered terrific until a widely publicized scandal revealed that our principal had been fudging our scores. I shoulda known by looking at some of my classmates that we weren't that smart.
posted by jonmc at 6:28 PM on March 6, 2002

No Publisher Left Behind
No Defense Contractor Left Behind
No Oil Company Left Behind
No Fundie Left Behind

Left Behind! The New Series! Will You Be Left Behind?
Will gee dubya bring on the rapture? :)
posted by nofundy at 5:04 AM on March 7, 2002

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