People, Politics & Business

Scoundrels, Educrats, Rogues and Champions


SMW, February 16, 2010 10:35 AM


"So much cranky clamoring lately: Three major movies. Scarborough,
Seth Godin, even Carl Bernstein getting into the act.
 Who gave these intruders the stage?  Don't "turn over the tables in the temple" of education - I like the status quo. 

By Dr. D. Rigour

What a week.  POTUS Obama giving the SOTU.  I even consulted my book on education code words and couldn't figure out what SOTU was until I was watching the State of The Union address while everyone was twittering about it.  Such an annoying and confounding new way of communicating.  Technology transforming education?  Rubbish!

(So in my own moment of empathy, I am providing translations of my erudite musings below for all of those who may be wondering  what the hell is going on with my own brilliant acronyms.  So there.  And a few links, which is so beneath me.  I do prefer end-notes.)

How clever of Obama to mention the re-authorization of ESEA  (with most folks not knowing what ESEA means).   ESEA is the other name for NCLB (No Child Left Behind).  Got that? Brilliant!  We edu-crats have been doing this for years.

Obama probably had to do this, especially since the venerable Uncle Jay at The Washington Post said "Kill NCLB" here, and Robert at Core Knowledge went apoplectic here at the thought that Jay jumped ship, even though much of the edu-world had already gone overboard, since that boat was so fraught with mutineers.

Dillon at the NYT today here announced the ESEA law has not jumped the shark at all.   After he reported that Obama "would solicit input from Congressional leaders of both parties,"  I thought it wouldn't be anything like the old ESEA law.  Will it?  You got me.  Whoa, Nelly.   I'm actually getting sea-sick from all this talk - sounds like another wild ride with Duncan catching the waves.

Keep them guessing, I say.  Keep them confused and off balance.  Throw in a study that repudiates their stance.  I like it the old way.  No intruders allowed.  Inner circle rules the day.

And then we have Huffman and this Sawchuck guy poking around into ESEA and Race to The Top, the latter being an additional $4 billion initiative from the stimulus otherwise known as RTTT, uncovering all kinds of revelations.  Leave things alone, I tell you, we don't like transparency. 

Think we should just rename the whole damn thing WD40 or WTF2 and start over.

Then Andrew exposed a Washington Post meltdown among their edu-writers here because changes were made to a blog post hours after it was posted that someone didn't want to see (I do it all the time not because I can't spell but because I usually can't find my glasses and then find these glaring pips staring at me) and then it became this unraveling mess.

Then Valerie gave this manifesto on the college admissions drill here complete with AP advice, which scared the hell out of me since she revealed how complicated the whole deal really was and I really do hope the AP thing blows up and goes away, before I have to deal with it on any level.  If Seth Godin or Race To Nowhere have anything to do with it, things could get really ugly.

But then again, tests are big business.  Did I tell you that education is big business?  Kaplan (same company as Washington Post, Newsweek, Slate - yes a mighty web we weave), The College Board (SAT), and some newbies, all have a stake in testing - you know -  it keeps the money flowing - but somebody has to keep an eye on the cash register.

Also, Alexander is still gnawing on Sec'y Duncan's leg and will not let go, here, and Uncle Jay said kids should get reading time in while they eat lunch here.  Jay, say it ain't so!

And now we have The Daily Riff announcing three major controversial movies coming out about education exposing lots of things in the system.  I hate to be exposed.   Why would anyone want to screw up a clean, civilized way of life, where everything and everybody has their place and knows where they belong.  Good God, man. 

They also covered the spirited conversation between Scarborough,  Bernstein and Weingarten, the head of the teachers union here.  Leave the poor woman alone,  the union is doing fine and I hear dues are continuing to pour in.

And, what the heck is The Daily Riff?  Where did they even come from?   ASCD said that they are changing the conversation.  Are they a part of some sort of revolution?  What nonsense, things are fine the way they are.

Whoever said education is a mad world - oh please.  It's as civilized as ever.  Let's keep it that way. ------------ Just don't let the dogs loose.


Dr. D. Rigour
Thought Leader Extraordinaire

The Players:
  • Uncle Jay  -  Jay Mathews - The Washington Post
  • Kevin Huffman - The Washington Post
  • Robert - Robert Pondiscio - The Core Knowledge Blog
  • Dillon - Sam Dillon - The New York Times
  • Andrew - Andrew Rotherham - The Education Sector/Eduwonk
  • Alexander - Alexander Russo - Scholastic's This Week in Education
  • Sawchuck - Stephen Sawchuck - Education Week
  • Valerie - Valerie Strauss - The Washington Post
  • Arne Duncan - Secretary of Education

End Notes:
  • "Turn over the tables in the temple" of education: here for Joe Scarborough with Al Sharpton
  • ESEA:  Elementary & Secondary Education Act - more here.
  • Movie #1:  Waiting for Superman here
  • Movie #2:  Race to Nowhere here
  • Movie #3:  The Lottery here
  • AP: Advanced Placement courses
  • ASCD:  Association for Administrative & Curriculum Development

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