Connecticut announced its lawsuit against Margaret Spellings and the DOE today but for some strange reason the conflict of interest story over high stakes testing and the Bush administration still hasn't made its way into the news. The focus still seems to be on the unfunded federal mandate as reported in the New York Times but the big story has yet to be told.
The NYT reports:
But it (the lawsuit) goes further, arguing that the federal secretary of education, Margaret Spellings, has aggravated the harm to Connecticut by denying state requests for flexibility in complying with the law, including one to continue the state's alternate-year testing program, which the suit says has helped make Connecticut students among the highest-ranking in the nation.
Those interested in why Spellings and friends at the DOE just don't seem to get it when it comes to the mounting legal challenges and rebellion against NCLB, here's a story that can shine some light on possible motives. Emily Pyle of the Texas Observer wrote a story on May 16, 2005, High-stakes test aren't good for students, teachers, or schools. So who are they good for? Well, they're certainly good for Sandy Kress, old time family friend and high powered lobbyist for test publishers. Where's the accountability?
The good news is an investigation by the DOE's watchdog into the love affair and possible conflict of interest with the Reading First program is the first sign that the hanky panky at DOE is beginning to gain the attention of law enforcement officials.
It's high time to start holding these people accountable for the travesty being perpetuated on the American public. The tragedy of this reckless policy, couched in Orwellian doublespeak, are the valuable educational programs and resources not being funded because the administration continues to reward its cronies at the expense of our nation's children and teachers.
Let's get the story straight.