"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." - Thomas Jefferson 1820

"There is a growing technology of testing that permits us now to do in nanoseconds things that we shouldn't be doing at all." - Dr. Gerald Bracey author of Rotten Apples in Education

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Saturday, March 10, 2012

An Educational Reform Primer for All State Legislators: When "Choice" is Not Really "Choice" but Just Lipstick on a Pig

How Michelle Rhee (a self-proclaimed left leaning Democrat) and her Students First organization are able to infiltrate state legislatures to push for nationalized education and conservative legislators praise its presence and agenda (and even invite her to set up shop for lobbying efforts):

Rhee’s strategy of freezing her targets—teachersand unions—and attacking them through a media blitz, has been so successfulscores of governors and high-profile conservatives ignore her faux record atHarlem Park Elementary, her affiliation with the social justice minded, racistTeach for America (the majority of whom are white, Ivy League and elitist) andthe cover-up surrounding a DC cheating scandal that happened under her watch.

Potter Williams Report does a fine job describing how those politicians who describe themselves as conservative got snookered into supporting the nationalization of curriculum and other nefarious education "reform" models:

Left and Right reformers are successfully wielding enormous power over testing standards, teacher evaluation models, policy implementation and curriculum. Building coalitions around common ideals such as parental involvement, teacher tenure, failing schools and ‘trophy’ kids, the left has lured the Right into an unholy alliance while their old pals SEIU and NEA battle it out with non-profits like Save Our Schools and the billion-dollar ubiquitous StudentsFirst. 

"There's so much lipstick smeared on this pig, it's hard to tell what it looks like," said Rep. Mike Lair, R-Chillicothe.

Lair has uttered one of the most succinct statements on education reform and the unholy alliance of education reform organizations to come out of Jefferson City.  Representative Lair may be echoing the words in the Potter Williams article:
"If something sounds too good to be true and is accompanied by a slick feature length propaganda film (Waiting for Superman) directed by a hard-line leftist (Davis Guggenheim of Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth”) then it definitely is." 
We wrote about this educational reform disaster last year when Republican lawmakers were invited to see "Waiting for Superman" in Jefferson City.  "Too good to be true" is under all that lipstick on that education reform pig. Take the lipstick off and it is still a pig.  It's not the "reform" the Republicans in Missouri and nationally have come to believe it is.  It's nothing but dressed up pork, designed to use taxpayer money for programs with no taxpayer accountability.  
Kudos to at least one Republican lawmaker who can see past the glitz and glamor of packaged and slick educational reform one liners. 

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