The Rising Tide of Mediocrity: Parents, Pupils, Politicians

A report released to the press today called the U.S. Education Reform and National Security report, argues for treating education as a national-security issue, noting that deficiencies in areas like foreign languages hold back America’s capacity to produce soldiers, diplomats and spies. It calls for increased standards, accountability and school choice — charter schools and vouchers — to increase America’s international educational standing.

Oh really? A national security threat?  So what is implied is that our real national security threat is public education and not Iran, Iraq and North Korea?  Not the ‘Axis of Evil?’ Not weapons of mass destruction in the hands of mad dictators like Saddam Hussein?  Not the mushroom cloud?

I mention this because one of the authors of this report is Condoleezza Rice. Yes, that Condoleezza Rice! The mushroom cloud-WMD Condoleezza Rice. The woman who helped ‘sell’ the preemptive invasion of Iraq to millions of gullible American citizens.

And now she’s back at it once again, trying to scare the pants off of us.

As if we Americans didn’t already know that there is trouble with education here in the U.S.? And the ‘solution’ please? While the report discusses funding inequity as a potential problem, it doesn’t include any solutions. Funding inequity, she writes. What if, Ms Rice, the citizens of the United States had  not listened to your hysterics back in 2003 and we had not invaded Iraq?  Would the Treasury of the United States be a bit fatter? Would there have been more money for books rather than bombs? Or is that ‘so yesterday?’

No solutions, just the usual babble. So what’s their point? Could it be some other agenda? Something like that old canard charter schools? And vouchers that suck money from publicly-funded schools? Bingo.

The Huffington Post notes:

According to Gary Miron, a professor at Western Michigan University’s College of Education, the report is selective in its use of data to bolster charter schools. “The selection of researchers they cite is misleading,” he said. “They only select papers that show choice is working, when most reports say it’s not.” Jennings also accused the commission of “cherry-picking data” to make its points. For example, when the report describes the success of the Washington, D.C. voucher program, Jennings said, it ignores research disparaging the program’s effects. “It’s Joel Klein beating the same old drums in a different forum.”


Joel Klein? He’s the co-author with Ms Rice. Klein is a News Corporation executive. Yes, News Corp- Rupert Murdoch et al. Do you smell a hint of politics? Politics during a presidential year? Could this article really be just red meat for the ever-hungry right-wingers?  With no actual substance? With no ideas, no plans? Just raw politics?

Pathetic. Once again we find politicians and ideology-driven think tank pundits playing around with one of the most important issues of our time. Sure ‘education’ is not what it could be.  No one doubts that at all. Yet few seem to address the core problems at the root of education. Rather, people like Rice and Klein use the issue for political gain. And that is most disgusting of all.


9 thoughts on “The Rising Tide of Mediocrity: Parents, Pupils, Politicians

  1. Going out and gunning down 16 innocent civilians is a really bad thing. But denying millions of innocent children the education they deserves is unforgivable.

    There can only be two reasons anyone would support the voucher program:
    1. They are selfish and want more than their fair share of available education money, either for their children or themselves (including lower taxes – “Duh, I ain’t got no kids in school so why should I pay school taxes?”).
    2. They are so uneducated that they can’t comprehend how the voucher system actually works (or in reality, doesn’t work).

    Wouldn’t it be just like some blowhard self-determined history export not to realize this Country succeeded, while other countries foundered, because of our universally availiable education system. And wasn’t BROWN vs. BOARD OF EDUCATION all about equally good and available eduation for all?

    (I swear, everyday I like President Obama more!)

  2. This would be a funny story if it weren’t true.

    Members of Southern Mississippi’s pep band chanted “where’s your green card?” at Puerto Rico-born Kansas State guard Angel Rodriguez last Thursday. (Who knew Mississippi had more than one university.) Anyway, the COLLEGE kids who chanted got into big trouble for their racist behavior.

    End of Story? Oh noooooooo. Shouldn’t kids in COLLEGE know that Puerto Rico is a U.S. Territory and it’s citizens are American citizens that can travel freely within the United States without visas or green cards?

    1. Shouldn’t kids in COLLEGE know…?

      Depends on the ‘college’ they attend, I supposed. Some do a better job than others, as is obvious by the taunts of this load of rednecks.

      1. Gentlemen,your ignorance is bliss! Most Mississippians are
        shocked by the chant “where’s your green card” as a KSU
        basketball player, with a Latino name of Rodriguez, went to the foul line to shoot free throws. And, M_R, to say this was done by a
        “load of rednecks” really is an insensitive remark. It was FIVE, 5,
        from the band that made the chant. So we condemn all for the
        remark of 5? Here is the “rest of the story.” The University
        President issued a formal written apology immediately after the
        game to KSU and to Rodriquez. The Athletic Director who was
        attending the game went to the player’s hotel and apologized in
        person for a racially insensitive chant. In addition, the five
        students were identified from video tapes and personal
        investigations by the University, and the University revoked all
        their scholarships and dismissed them from the band. So, an entire state should be castigated and demeaned, NON and M_R,
        for what 5 band members rashly and inappropriately did?
        It seems to me your “liberalism” needs to be examined.

  3. Mr. Mud, you going to the grand opening of the Obama Campaign office?

  4. M_R: months ago now, lol, you commented that you begin a
    series of POSTS on education. I don’t recall reading them. Since
    in this POST you once again talk about education as in the core
    problems and solutions. It would be good if you would undertake
    to write about education k-12 and give us the problems and the
    solutions. I realize that you have a busy schedule with your
    political activity, so not asking that you do it today, but as soon
    as your schedule permits.

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