Sunday, November 20, 2005

Pull the plug on the federal Education Department

Margaret Spellings and her cohorts are at it again. They've managed to subvert the No Child Left Behind act into a draconian witch-hunt complete with good guys and bad guys - measuring the wrong stuff, itimidating and bullying parents, schools and taxpayers with ever more ridiculous demands and tweaks, and so on. Let's start making it clear to every politician you meet to pull the plug. Enough with this costly nonsense.

States redefine student progress
Education Department to allow changes in performance measurement

Friday, November 18, 2005; Posted: 10:06 a.m. EST (15:06 GMT)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Tinkering again with enforcement of the No Child Left Behind education law, the government plans to let some states fundamentally change how they measure yearly student progress.

In an experiment that's been months in the making, up to 10 states will be allowed to measure not just how students are performing, but how that performance is changing over time.

Currently, schools are judged based only on how today's students compare to last year's students in math and reading -- such as fourth-graders in 2005 versus fourth-graders in 2004.

Many state leaders don't like the current system of comparing two different years of kids because it doesn't recognize changes in the population or growth by individual students.

Education Secretary Margaret Spellings was announcing the "growth model" policy on Friday to a gathering of state school chiefs in Richmond, Virginia, The Associated Press learned.

In the fine print of the article is buried the fact that all this new data will cost taxpayers a fortune and IMHO is worthless.

I want to introduce a growth formula to Ms Spellings - Grow goodwill in education by going away. The pocketbooks of taxpayers will grow when you go and we will all thank you and, if it makes the parting quicker, we'll give you a plaque.

The Education Department should be retired immediately. It is a hoax and a failure that continues to cost money and disseminate unwanted mandates, policy tinkering, and plain stupidity across the countryside.

Shut it down.

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