Monday, June 25, 2007

For too often and too long that bar wasn’t set high enough (updated)

From the London Times: “Immigration officers should wear pastel-coloured clothing when attempting to deport families, so that they are less intimidating to children, Home Office officials have recommended.” Yeah, that’ll do it.

Today Bush (not wearing pastel-colored clothing) met with a bunch of “Presidential Scholars,” of whom he said, “It’s a neat occasion to be able to welcome the 2007 Presidential Scholars.” He spoke about education and No Child Left Behind. It would be all too easy to pick up my blue pencil and mark all his mistakes, but my monitor would be covered with squiggly lines, and the resulting post would be way too long. He is, however, begging for it: “You know, part of the problem we’ve had in our school system is for too often and too long that bar wasn’t set high enough”.

“It’s amazing what happens when you hold people to account,” he said, not speaking from personal experience.

WHAT OUGHT YOU EXPECT? “If you believe a child can learn to read, then you ought to expect a child to read. That’s what you ought to expect.”

WHAT IS BECOMING CLOSED? “We had an achievement gap in our country and that’s not right to have an achievement gap in America. And this achievement gap is becoming closed”.

He says we need 30,000 “math and science professionals to go into classrooms to stimulate interest”. Oh, I am so not going there. “Because in order for us to make sure the best jobs are in America requires us having mathematicians and scientists and historians and engineers and physicists and poets. And the best way to stimulate that interest is from people who actually know what they’re talking about.” So why are these kids listening to you?

And yes, I may have added a couple of items to that list of professions. See if you can guess which ones.

“Whether we like or not, we’re in a global world.” Or possibly octagonal.

IN OTHER WORDS: “No Child Left Behind is working. In other words, we’re making good progress.”

IN OTHER WORDS: “In other words, people say, well, you can’t be for No Child Left Behind, it’s the federal government telling you what to do. Quite the opposite. ... We’re just going to insist that you measure”. Telling you what to do is quite the opposite of insisting.

IN OTHER WORDS: “Measuring results helps teachers spot problems. In other words, you can’t solve a problem until you diagnose it.”

Caption contest:

(Update: it seems that 50 of the 140 presidential scholars signed
a letter, which they handed to Bush personally, opposing the use of torture, renditions, and calling for adherence to the Geneva Conventions. Bravo. Bravo. (Also, Bong Hits 4 Jesus.) Bush read the letter (possibly asking them for help with some of the bigger words) and told them that in fact the United States does not torture. These kids have ideals and they know what it’s like to have the president of the United States lie to their faces. If they aren’t prepared for the future, I don’t know who is.)

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