Thursday, January 08, 2009

George and the easiest children to forget about

Today Bush gave what he called “my last policy speech” (yay) at the General Philip Kearny School in Philadelphia, on the subject of No Child Left Behind. Naturally, he wants it to be continued in its current form. He said nothing about maintaining school funding, under threat by budget cuts all across the country (California’s robot governor just announced plans to cut funding by five school days a year. Rich districts will be able to keep their schools open those days, poor ones will not.)

WHAT BUDDY MEANS: “I’m proud to be here with my buddy. I guess it’s okay to call the Secretary of Education here ‘buddy.’ That means friend.”

THE EASIEST CHILDREN FOR WHO TO FORGET ABOUT, GEORGE? “It’s unacceptable to our country that vulnerable children slip through the cracks. And by the way, guess who generally those children are? They happen to be inner-city kids, or children whose parents don’t speak English as a first language. They’re the easiest children to forget about.”

IN OTHER WORDS: “When schools fall short of standards year after year, something has to happen. In other words, there has to be a consequence in order for there to be effective reforms.”

WHAT ACHIEVEMENT GAP IS: “Achievement gap is -- it means this: White students are reading here, and African American students are reading here, and Latino students are reading down here. And that is unacceptable for the United States of America.”

IN OTHER WORDS: “In the classroom, students are learning from highly qualified teachers. In other words, that’s part of the reforms of encouraged -- the focus on highly qualified teachers.”

IN OTHER WORDS: “There’s a new Teacher Incentive Fund in place, as a result of No Child Left Behind reforms, and a city like Philadelphia are rewarding educators for taking jobs in this city’s toughest classrooms, and those who are achieving results. In other words, there’s an incentive to make sure good teachers get in the classrooms all throughout the city.”

Damn, when they said the president was coming, I thought they meant Obama. I got totally screwed.

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