Thursday, September 22, 2011
Federal education policy: A Shakespearean tragedy
Yorick: The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB)
Horatio: Education Secretary Arne Duncan
Hamlet: President Obama
The plot: After overwhelming bipartisan support for education reform and an honest but failed attempt at tackling a problem, partisan hacks run for the hills and blame a former President for his education policy. Background reading here.
Alas, poor NCLB! I knew him, Arnie Duncan; a policy
of infinite bipartisan support, of most excellent intentions: it hath
borne us on its back a thousand times, and now, how
abhorred in my imagination it is.
Here hung those standards of which I have praised I know
not how oft. Where be your requirements now? Your
purpose? Your promise of school choice? Your flashes of expectations,
that were wont to set the teacher's unions on a roar? Not one,
now, to praise your own objectives. Quite chap-fallen?
Now get you to my Cabinet's chambers, free from Congressional oversight,
and have them paint an inch thick, to this favor they must
come; make them laugh at that. Prithee, Arne Duncan, tell
me one thing.
What's that, my lord.
Dost though think my plans to close Gitmo looked o' this fashion, i'
And smelt so? pah!
E'en so, my lord.
To what base uses we may return, Arne Duncan. There
may still be jobs for us in Chicago when we are done.