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Subject: "I Want To Talk About Platform & No Child Left Behind" This topic is ARCHIVED.
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JodyBJodyBresch3Sat Mar-20-04 06:55 PM
Member since Aug 26th 2002
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"I Want To Talk About Platform & No Child Left Behind"


          

Today I attended a district platform committee meeting in Iowa's southeast district. I volunteered to work on the Education Sub-Committee. There was a college administrator in attendance, a kindergarten teacher, a school librarian and me. I said that our convention had voted for a repeal of the No Child Left Behind Act. The administrator said, "Let's be realistic. That's not going to happen." Well when we had sifted through the platforms from thirteen of the counties represented, seven of them had a Plank about the Repeal of the No Child Left Behind Act. I let the committee bat the subject around until the librarian finally asked me what I thought about the subject.

I said, if you guys so choose, there are three of you and one of me, but I came here to represent my constituents for voting for a repeal of the No Child Left Behind Act. In my hometown of 23,000, we have our one and only high school and one of our elementary schools on the at-risk list. If we lose our high school funding, we would be looking for area schools to transfer over a thousand high school students to. Since we are the largest town in Wapello Co., that means we would be trying to divide those students between the five school districts closest to us, and those communities are a third to half the size of ours. I'm standing behind my convention's decision to endorse a plank for a repeal of the No Child Left Behind Act."

Well, to my utter amazement, the debate stopped, and the rest of my committee members agreed to support the 'Repeal' plank as I had written it.

I am hoping that there are others of you out there who will take an aggressive stand on this subject as well. Eventually, Congress is going to have to hear us, folks. Just keep talking to them. Don't let up, and stand by your convictions.

To me, trying to fix it is like trying to fix a house that was built on sinking sand. No matter how much we attempt to shore it up, it's never going to be a solid, reliable house to live in. We need Congress to go back to the drawing board and come up with something realistic that can actually be implemented, something professional educators have had input on, and something with a fair evaluation process.

  

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Great Job, Jody B!, monkeyfister, Mar-20-04 07:23 PM, #1
Major kudos and a shot of chinaco, SDent, Mar-20-04 08:31 PM, #2
Great job, Jody, samela, Mar-20-04 08:33 PM, #3
amen. nt, SDent, Mar-20-04 08:45 PM, #4
Kudos! I'm quoting you at The Sideshow., Avedon, Mar-21-04 03:29 AM, #5
What a great example, Faun_Otter, Mar-21-04 05:18 AM, #6
Shrub is revising NCLB....., jimmymac, Mar-21-04 07:59 AM, #8
      Another Bush Empty Gesture, Revision Is A Waste Of Taxpayer Money!, JodyBJodyBresch3, Mar-22-04 06:46 AM, #11
Brand New Mark Fiore on the topic..., monkeyfister, Mar-21-04 07:20 AM, #7
RE: I Want To Talk About Platform & No Child Left Behind, crasmane, Mar-21-04 08:07 AM, #9
      Thanks, Feel Free To Quote Me Anywhere It Helps The Cause...And About ..., JodyBJodyBresch3, Mar-21-04 05:48 PM, #10

monkeyfisterSat Mar-20-04 07:23 PM
Member since Dec 28th 2002
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"Great Job, Jody B!"
In response to Reply #0


          

Dang, Im impressed! The repeal of No Child Left Educated-- er behind-- needs to be a MAJOR action of the Kerry Administration. It's proven destructive in it's unfunded form-- it will only get worse if it ever finds funding. I'm glad you were so persuasive at the meeting. I hope it's a National trend.


Tony B.

"CODE BLUE".
The MOON Primer
Mad Cow Info Source
Creepin' fascism. That's what we're looking at." Ivins

  

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SDentSat Mar-20-04 08:31 PM
Member since Apr 25th 2002
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"Major kudos and a shot of chinaco"
In response to Reply #0


          

to you jodyb...you're a true patriot. koresh bless you.

www.someonetakethewheel.blogspot.com

  

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samelaSat Mar-20-04 08:33 PM
Member since Apr 25th 2002
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"Great job, Jody"
In response to Reply #0


          

I'm totally with you on this one, and will put pressure on the party here insofar as possible to add a repeal to the platform. I spent so many years fighting in and for public education, and I've felt deeply since the beginning that NCLB was the wrong path (and I told my senator, Ted Kennedy, so).

I hate to bring up (sob) past candidates, cause it's in the past. But I'd like to use this discussion to resurrect a few things Wes Clark had to say on this subject. It's one of the reasons I jumped onto his ship. Clark did not only oppose NCLB because it was underfunded and because in his estimation its whole purpose was to destroy public education in this country, but because he thought it is bad policy. Not the sorts of measures that will ever lead to better education.

Here's what he had to say in an interview with Josh Marshall shortly after he entered the race last fall. He elaborated on these ideas more fully later in the campaign (most memorably, in my estimation, in his explanation about how factual content, which is measured by these tests promoted by NCLB, should not be the main goal or measure of education--rather teachers' greatest input into education is instilling a lifelong attitudes to learning in students: making them want to learn on their own, teaching them ways of accessing information and a love for learning that will promote self-direction and long-term engagement with ideas; this is nothing that NCLB can help to achieve; indeed it does the opposite). I don't have those later comments, but I think even these early comments bear repeating:

--snip--

This administration has crafted an ideology that basically is designed to roll back the institutions that have helped this country. They promote the ideology through sloganeering, through labeling, name-calling, talk radio. But when you really get down and scratch it, there's not much there.

For example, take the idea of competition in schools. OK now, what is competition in schools? What does it really mean? Well, competition in business means you have somebody who's in a business that has a profit motive in it. It's measured every quarter. If the business doesn't keep up, the business is going to lose revenue, therefore it has an incentive to restructure, reorganize, re-plan, re-compete and stay in business.

Schools aren't businesses. Schools are institutions of public service. Their job--their product--is not measured in terms of revenues gained. It's measured in terms of young lives whose potential can be realized. And you don't measure that either in terms of popularity of the school, or in terms of the standardized test scores in the school. You measure it child-by-child, in the interaction of the child with the teacher, the parent with the teacher, and the child in a larger environment later on in life.

So when people say that competition is-this is sort of sloganeering, "Hey, you know, schools need this competition." No. I've challenged people: Tell me why it is that competition would improve a school. Most of them can't explain it. It's just like, "Well, competition improves everything so therefore it must improve schools."

If you want to improve schools, you've got to go inside the processes that make a school great. You've got to look at the teachers, their qualifications, their motivation, what it is that gives a teacher satisfaction, what it is a teacher wants to do in a classroom. We've got to empower teachers. Give them an opportunity to lead in the classroom. Teachers are the most important leaders in America. All that is lost in the sloganeering of this party. And the American people know it's lost. So you asked me to give you one thing about this party that's in power -- it's the sort of doctrinaire ideology that doesn't really understand the country that we're living in.

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/old/oct0301.html


The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie,
deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth,
persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.
John F. Kennedy

  

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SDentSat Mar-20-04 08:45 PM
Member since Apr 25th 2002
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"amen. nt"
In response to Reply #3


          


www.someonetakethewheel.blogspot.com

  

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AvedonSun Mar-21-04 03:29 AM
Member since Apr 23rd 2002
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"Kudos! I'm quoting you at The Sideshow."
In response to Reply #0


          

This is a great example of getting down to business to address a problem, and I congratulate you. The sooner people acknowledge that this program is unworkable and simply admit that there is no alternative to getting rid of it, the sooner the campaigns will realize they have to talk about it - not just for the sake of winning (although that too!) but for the sake of making it right again.

Bush has made a lot of hay by pretending to support education, a prescription drug plan, and of course national security. In no instance has he actually done so, and every one of these programs has been a disaster for the things they are claimed to support. It would be negligent to do anything less than to confront this issue head-on.

A lot of people have been making the mistake of thinking there is a "rational, pragmatic" path in trying to implement these programs, trying to support them, taking the approach that we are stuck with them so we have to try to make them work. But they can't work, and we have to say so.

The conservative approach to programs they don't like has never been to accept them - it's been to lie about them and to sabotage them. They don't come right out and say, "Blacks don't deserve equality," they just say blacks are "unqualified" (no matter how many get certifications or even graduate cum laude), they deliberately recruit incompetent blacks so they can point to them and say, "Look, you're making us hire all these people who can't do the job!" and then if by some accident they actually end up with people who are competent they make sure they never get anywhere.

They do this with everything. They invent reasons why a program (say, Social Security) is not working, then find ways to "fix" it by undermining everything that makes it work.

It's absolutely obvious that NCLB is intended to close perfectly good schools and ultimately destroy the public school system. We can't be silent about that.

Thank you, Jody, for making the voice of reason a part of the process.

AC
More liberal media at
The Sideshow

  

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Faun_OtterSun Mar-21-04 05:18 AM
Member since May 02nd 2002
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"What a great example"
In response to Reply #0


          

Your story of the real world effects of the NCLB act is stunning. This demonstrates the effect, intended or not, of the act in destroying public education.

"Your school is failing due to under funding. You have one year to fix it or we close you down.... And by the way, we are cutting your funding even more during your probation period."

NCLB is a farce. I use the initials because the full name is such a lump of propaganda.

Faun

  

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jimmymacSun Mar-21-04 07:59 AM
Member since May 13th 2002
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"Shrub is revising NCLB....."
In response to Reply #6


          

.....Paige announced it at a press conference(why isn't he having a bail hearing?).

Rural states have made their case pretty well. Maine really fought like hell against it and the administration is backing off. Rural and inner city districts have been hurt by it and are getting releief. Fighting NLCB is by no means a lost cause.

In true Chimp spirit the bill had hurt the very districts that have to deal with the most problesm. It really hurt rural districts trying to hire teachers.

  

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JodyBJodyBresch3Mon Mar-22-04 06:46 AM
Member since Aug 26th 2002
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"Another Bush Empty Gesture, Revision Is A Waste Of Taxpayer Money!"
In response to Reply #8


          

It's just like the Patriot Act, The Medicare Act, just add the No Child Left Behind Act to the list.

>>To me, trying to fix it is like trying to fix a house that was >>built on sinking sand. No matter how much we attempt to shore it >>up, it's never going to be a solid, reliable house to live in.

My dad always had a favorite saying about 'closing the barn door after the horse has run away'. Basically, Bush hopes to do some voter control before the election to pacify them. But bottom line, he is trying to destroy public education in this country the same way he's going after social security.

  

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monkeyfisterSun Mar-21-04 07:20 AM
Member since Dec 28th 2002
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"Brand New Mark Fiore on the topic..."
In response to Reply #0


          

http://www.markfiore.com/animation/school.html


Oh, my-- that Mark Fiore just gets better and better.


Tony B.

"CODE BLUE".
The MOON Primer
Mad Cow Info Source
Creepin' fascism. That's what we're looking at." Ivins

  

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crasmaneSun Mar-21-04 08:07 AM
Member since Feb 28th 2003
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"RE: I Want To Talk About Platform & No Child Left Behind"
In response to Reply #0
Edited on Sun Mar-21-04 08:08 AM by crasmane

          

> I said that our convention had voted for a repeal of the No
>Child Left Behind Act. The administrator said, "Let's be
>realistic. That's not going to happen." Well when we had
>sifted through the platforms from thirteen of the counties
>represented, seven of them had a Plank about the Repeal of the
>No Child Left Behind Act. I let the committee bat the subject
>around until the librarian finally asked me what I thought
>about the subject.

Your argument here is just what the doctor ordered.

>I said, if you guys so choose, there are three of you and one
>of me, but I came here to represent my constituents for voting
>for a repeal of the No Child Left Behind Act.

The point is that representation is not about being "realistic." It's about representation of the desires of the people who sent you.
The debate has to come down to 2 things when you hear someone trying to toe the political line because they believe the peoples' concerns are unrealistic.
Does the government serve the people?
Or do the people serve the government by silent assent to whatever policies come down from on high?
This is a democratic republic, the people are sovereign. So when committees like this meet, any representative body at all no matter how small, the constituents concerns are first and are the ordering principle of whatever consensus is reached.

A similar structure could be formed in business that would help strengthen democracy if the concerns of customers and workers were more important than those of shareholders, the so-called owners of the companies, and if the idea of corporate personhood was discredited and out of use.

. . . take this monkey just as he was, in short, and you could desire no better image of the Mammon of copper-coin, symbolizing the grossest form of the love of money. Nathaniel Hawthorne, The House of the Seven Gables.

  

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JodyBJodyBresch3Sun Mar-21-04 05:48 PM
Member since Aug 26th 2002
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"Thanks, Feel Free To Quote Me Anywhere It Helps The Cause...And About ..."
In response to Reply #9


          

In Ottumwa at the first Platform Committee I chaired for the county, one platform committee member said, "Let's face it, Social Security is going to go belly-up. Why fight it?"

I turned to him and said, "We fight it because The United States Government made a pledge to the American people that they could count on Social Security, that it would be there when we need it, and now they want to say it's not a fiscally sound program because the baby boomers are quickly approaching Social Security age. Well I say our government made a pledge to its citizens, and we need to tell them we expect them to honor that pledge. We shouldn't be making it easy for them by letting them off the hook without a fight. We need to tell them that when they make a promise to Americans, they need to keep it."

This crap of you can't fight city hall so why bother trying is a bunch of bull! If I misquote this I'll be terribly embarassed, but what happened to "government of the people, by the people, for the people?" If it isn't serving our needs, then it isn't our government, now is it?

  

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