This space explores issues in public education policy, and it advocates for a commitment to and a re-examination of the democratic purposes of schools. If there is some urgency in the message, it is due to the current reform efforts that are based on a radical re-invention of education, now spearheaded by a psychometric blitzkrieg of "metastasizing testing" aimed at dismantling a public education system that took almost 200 years to build. JH August, 2005
Sunday, September 14, 2008
The Rove Lipstick Crew and the Anti-Women Campaign
. . . .Lipstick doesn't just differentiate the hockey moms from the pit bulls, as Palin joked in her convention speech. Lipstick conceals the harsh, anti-woman actions of McCain and Bush. Bush searched high and low for women, preferably attractive ones, from groups opposed to such things as equal pay, health care for all, contraception and shelters for battered women. Then he handed them the reins of government. McCain approved his Cabinet appointees, who have now quietly dismembered federal programs near and dear to women. Their favorite tools are executive orders, rule changes and unfunded mandates, which do not require congressional approval and rarely grab headlines. They excel at doublespeak. When congressional action is needed, McCain votes with Bush 95 percent of the time, and now he's recruited Bush's lipstick crew to his team.
On the 35th anniversary of Title IX, the federal law requiring equal opportunity for females in education, Bush's Secretary of Education, Margaret Spellings, held a warm, fuzzy news conference to celebrate the law's successes. Then she silently weakened the rules for Title IX compliance, threatening sports opportunities and scholarships for women. McCain tacitly approved. Not only is the slice for females getting smaller, the whole pie is shrinking because Spellings, who regulates the federally guaranteed student loan program, ignored the inspector general's advice and refused to recoup the hundreds of millions in excess profits that predatory college loan lenders siphoned from funds meant for students.
On top of the overall financial insecurity squeezing middle-class families, women still earn only 77 cents to every dollar made by men. Despite strong evidence that some women are segregated into low-paying occupations, Diana Furchtgott-Roth, a Bush economic adviser from the Independent Women's Forum, voiced the administration's opposition to the Paycheck Fairness Act, arguing the wage gap stems from women's different "choice of occupation." . . . .
Let's see now. Women make less because they choose occupations that are low paying, and they are low-paying because they are--chosen by women?