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.