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

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Spellings' New Road Map--the Highway to Hell

Following on the success of other Administration "roadmaps," such as the Middle East one, the Bush team at ED has come up with a simplifed chart of ideological malarkey that clearly marks out a superhighway to the precipice for public schools. Just keep going on the clearly marked "bright line" in ED's new guide, and your schools will hit a dead end in thin air, labeled as failures and turned over to the Whittles of the world by 2014.

Basing her remarks yesterday in Charlotte on the same hackneyed lie that is central to every speech offered on NCLB, Spellings once more marched forth under a false banner of social justice to continue the war against the public schools and the poor, while declaring her commitment to improving the public schools and to closing the achievement gap between the brown poor and the rich white. Even though the repeated lie stands in stark contrast to the background of neo-con policies to undercut the poor and minorities at every corner, the repeated lie (now as naked as the ones that led us to war) continues to serve as the premise for every other lie that comes after, creating a spiderweb of falsehoods that has now been solidified and simplified in ED's new roadmap that includes no exits, no detours, no side trips, and no rest stops for the teachers, children, and administrators of America's schools.

It is interesting to note that the final remark of the roadmap has shifted the target. No longer does ED state that 100% proficiency is the target but that closing the achievement gap is the target. God knows that, even if 100% proficiency were achievable, it would do nothing to guarantee the end of achievement gaps.

As policymakers we have a responsibility to ensure that our Nation helps to prepare students to compete in the global economy. We must focus on results, set clear expectations and invest our resources on closing the achievement gap by 2014.

Or is this shift sending a signal for a changing rationale for Iraq, I mean, NCLB?

Here is the "roadmap" announcement from ED:

Secretary Spellings Discusses Education Reform at 2005 Hunt Institute Governor’s Education Symposium
U.S. Department Of Education11/10/2005 12:25:10 PM

No Child Left Behind: A Road Map to State Implementation, user-friendly guide available.
U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings today discussed the road to education reform for states—how far we’ve come and where we need to go—at the James B. Hunt, Jr. Institute for Educational Leadership and Policy’s 2005 Governors Education Symposium in Charlotte, N.C. Secretary Spellings also made available a new user-friendly guide, No Child Left Behind: A Road Map to State Implementation, which will help state policymakers navigate the road ahead.

"Along with annual assessment and closing the achievement gap by 2014, reporting data to show every child’s achievement is one of what I call the "bright line" principles of No Child Left Behind," Secretary Spellings said. "On the road to achievement, we must continue to be guided by these principles. We must continue to have high expectations for every child. We must measure progress towards these standards. And we must hold ourselves accountable for reaching our goals."

The road map describes fair, reliable ways the Department—together with parents, educators and state and local policymakers—is making No Child Left Behind work for students and educators across our country. The law sets the same requirements for all states, while recognizing that the paths they take to get there will vary. The road map breaks down a 670-page law into clear principles for success, and it recaps and frames how states have adapted those principles to raise student achievement.
More information about the No Child Left Behind: A Road Map to State Implementation guide is available at:



  1. The Empresses New Clothes

    Thanks for continuing to keep us posted on her majesty's whereabouts.

    Much appreciated.

  2. Correction:

    That's Empress's new clothes

    Too busy seeing red, didn't notice the spelling.