Yesterday Bush helicoptered in to General Phillip Kearney Elementary School in Philadelphia to declare both Mission Accomplished and Stay the Course in the "last policy address" he will give as president. All that was missing was his flight suit as George W. Bush declared: “Now is not the time to water down standards or to roll back accountability.”
According to Education Week's 1/8/09 piece, the goal of Bush's speech was to bolster his "legacy on education" and to urge the renewal of the souless, high-stakes corporate legislative act "No Child Left Behind".
"As president of the United States, this is the last policy address I will give," Mr. Bush said Thursday morning at General Philip Kearny Elementary School, a K-8 school in the Philadelphia district, on the seventh anniversary of his signing of the federal education law. "What makes it interesting is that it’s the same subject of my first policy address as president of the United States, which is education and education reform. I hope you can tell that education is dear to my heart. I care a lot about whether or not our children can learn to read, write, and add and subtract."
Whether children "can" learn to read and write?! Of course they can, you imbecile. But no one wants to anymore under your draconian testing nightmare that sucks the love of learning out of 7 year olds. And you "care alot"?!
I call bullsh*t. Bullsh*t, Mr. Bush. You "care a lot" about giving your acquaintances lucrative edu-biz contracts. You "care a lot" about vouchers. You "care a lot" about bashing teacher unions. But you most definately do not care a lot about children and their schooling.
In response to the thousands and thousands of real parents, educators, and students that have voiced their concern and opposition to No Child Left Behind, he throws up his middle finger and says with sarcasm:
I’ve heard every excuse in the book why we should not test—‘Oh, there’s too many tests; you teach the test; testing is intrusive; testing is not the role of government,’" the president said. "How can you possibly determine whether a child can read at grade level if you don’t test? And for those who claim we’re teaching the test, uh-uh. We’re teaching a child to read so he or she can pass the test."
Oh, Mr. Bush we progressive reformers have been bad boys and girls! How dare we question the psychological impact of taking countless high-stakes bubble tests from first grade through twelfth? How dare we question the fact that subjects not on these tests (such as art, history, creative writing) are getting squeezed out of the curriculum? How dare we demand that real educators be at the table to form education policy? How dare we suggest that teachers can use their training and experience to create their own assessments of their students' learning?! But most of all, how dare we want our children to read so that they can become creative, independent thinkers and not just "pass the test"?