"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Sunday, September 04, 2005

No Break from Testing for Katrina Refugee Students

In a pathetic little piece by Sam Dillon in the NY Times that touts the flexibility and assistance being extended by Maggie and Co. to Katrina victims, he ends it with this little throwaway, which undercuts everything that preceded it and seems appropriate for a headline story of a very different sort:

The federal government will be extremely flexible with the devastated systems but less so with districts elsewhere that might enroll displaced students, Ms. Spellings said, adding, "This will become a national issue, because these kids are going to end up in schools all over."

The mere presence of displaced students in some districts would not persuade her to suspend the accountability requirements of President Bush's No Child Left Behind education law for those students, she said.

"If 10 kids end up in the Little Rock system," Ms. Spellings said, "I won't necessarily exempt them from the accountability provision."

So does this mean that the flexibility reported by the Times extends only to the dirt poor schools in the ghettos of New Orleans that are now beneath the foam of sewage, oil, and salt water left by the broken levees that our President had no way to predict? Will there be a new sub-group created for these kids who must pass the unrelenting and inescapable tests? How about the Refugee and Poverty-riddled Survivors of Hell subgroup?

If anyone before now thought this Administration was simply out of touch with the realities of the poor, Spellings' callow and callous response shows the true studied heartlessness that characterizes to the core this corrupt and rotten reform known now for the ultimate irony it expresses--no child left behind.

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