Wednesday, October 10, 2007

No Child Left Behind Reauthorization On Hold

Preznut Bush held a press conference yesterday with civil rights leaders to urge Congress to reauthorize his signature No Child Left Behind education law.

The Washington Post reports that Bush says he is willing to compromise on some formulations in the law in order to get it reauthorized.

When asked if he was willing to compromise on standardized testing mandates, he said he wasn't.

When asked if he was willing to compromise on adjusting the consequences for schools that fall short of targets, he said he wasn't.

When asked what he was willing to compromise on to get reauthorization of the law done, he said he was willing to add additional standardized testing mandates to science and social studies, add additional monies for tutoring services (his brother, Neil, btw, is in the NCLB tutoring business), merit pay for teachers (he wants it), and provide additional opportunities for students in low-performing schools to transfer to better schools.

Of course these Bush proposals aren't actually compromises. He's been in favor of additional standardized testing in science and social studies, additional tutoring revenue for administration cronies, merit pay and student transfers since he was governor of Texas back in the 90's.

So what is he actually willing to compromise on?

Well, nothing.

You see, compromise for George W. Bush means you agree to what he wants and we call it a compromise. And then everybody in the Washington press corps has a "feel good/coming together" moment at the press conference as the preznut gets to announce his bipartisan compromise to the American people.

But as for actually compromising on core values he holds dear, Preznut Bush just doesn't go there.

One of those core values he holds dear is his belief that the No Child Left Behind law shouldn't actually be funded unless it can be empirically proven that those funds are going to administration cronies like his brother.

Even the civil rights leaders he held his little press conference with yesterday urged Bush to provide more money for education:

Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League, said Bush's proposed 2008 budget includes $15 billion for the program, $9 billion short of what was needed four years ago. His organization has offered its own 10-point plan for overhauling the No Child Left Behind Act, including revamped performance measurements, full-day preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds, and $32 billion to fund the program.

"You can build the best automobile," Morial said. "If you don't put enough gas in the tank, you're not going to get up to the speed you want to get to on a sustained basis. That's why we're for full funding."

But the preznut, who of course would compromise with Morial if only Morial would come around to his way of thinking on this, wouldn't commit to more funding.

You see, that's not his way of getting a compromise done.

In the meantime, No Child Left Behind reauthorization will remain on hold as interest groups on both the right and left fight for changes to the law and Preznut Bush and Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings hold fast to their no-compromise stance.
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