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October 22, 2006

Bush Fam Still Screwin American Taxpayers

Remember how Mama Bush gave money to Katrina victims in Texas, with the stipulation that the money had to be used to buy her son's "educational" toys materials? Yeah, well it turns out the Bushies are using their political influence to grab even more money. The (Every) Child Left Behind Act mandates testing in English and math. Yet for some reason, it's legal to use federal money earmarked for implementing the standards on social studies resources. Even worse, the "resources" Neil Bush's company, Ignite, are shilling is an electronic COW that "teaches" social studies. The technology was originally designed to give kids individualized instruction based on their answers to questions. After acquiring the technology, Ignite killed its original meaning by making the lessons one-size fits all. In other words, its a robotic teacher. A collection of lazy teachers is even quoted by the company, saying it allows them to not make lesson plans.

Does this sound like revolutionary schooling? Yeah, not so much. It does sound like a revolutionary fleecing of America. Nowadays, Bush cronies aren't just pushing to spend tax dollars making bombs and cutting social services, they're also forcing school districts to waste money on crappy pseudo-educational toys. The school district tech boom across America has done nothing to pay for the much needed pens, pencils, and paper lacking in many of our classrooms.

Read the gory deet's in the Sunday LA Times article by Walter Roche, Jr.

These same greedy Bush lackeys will tell you that the way to reform the problem in America's education system is to privatize it. Because the same for-profit motive that pushes school systems to acquire COWs will surely be a panacea to the problem of high drop out rates and inability to write complete sentences or do basic math. Let's be clear: Pump Up the Volume's plot line is happening across this country (i.e. principals forcing kids to drop out because of low test scores and principals keeping drop outs on the attendance roll to gather more district funding for fewer students). Charter schools cut much needed funding from school districts, destroy union contracts, and put the minds of our young people into the administration of people who have no background in education. But you don't have to go to a charter school for that - just look at how many districts hire chiefs with zero educational experience. Apparently, LA's school board thinks military service offers an exact transfer of skills needed to run a school district. Public education is a scary place. At least half of the administrative personnel should be cut from LAUSD's budget. Teachers, students, and parents should be in charge of figuring out what to do with the money saved. And instead of forcing our teachers to be drill sargeants for standardized tests, we should be reviewing the history and problems related to standardized testing - this would lead to the elimination of high stakes, racist, and classist testing from our schools.

Posted by cj at October 22, 2006 8:33 PM


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