Thursday, March 01, 2007



So as America was bedazzled by Hollywood last week, with the departed Anna Nicole Smith in “As I Lay Dying” and NYT dreamgirl Maureen Dowd teaming up with Dreamworks David Geffen for the Clinton/Obama WWF smackdown, real news remained on what seemed to be the editing room floor. Blinded by the glare from Britney’s head, it was nearly impossible to piece together the different strips of reality, whether it was the Walter Reed rat/mold infestation sequence or Seymour Hersh’s latest installment of the coming war or the Taliban, Part II, Revenge of Afghanistan.

The one real-news filmstrip that never left the developing room let alone move to editing revealed yet another stunning reality in America: our high school students’ achievement in reading has gone down, way down, from an 80% reaching “basic” proficiency in 1992 to a staggering 73% reaching “basic” proficiency in 2005. But this is not the only fact that the report, produced by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, projected onto the much manipulated mainstream media news radar screen: more so than ever, high school students are taking the most challenging courses available and, get a load of this, achieving the highest marks in these courses.

Let’s do the math, another academic area in which our students have fallen behind: MORE STUDENTS TAKING “DIFFICULT COURSES” + INFLATED GRADES = DUMBED-DOWN CURRICULUM. In the age of No Child Left Behind and Education through Testing, no wonder the powers that be didn’t want to advertise this fucking horror show of real-news.

And speaking of dumbed-down, Secretary of No Education Maggie Spellings claims that the disappointing report shows “we have our work cut out for us.” And this begs the question: how about you resign, Maggie, and cut your no-qualified self out of the picture? But really, how could Maggie do such a thing since our big picture seems to only resonate with failure? From the failure to locate WMDs to the failures of Iraq and Afghanistan, from the failure of Katrina and the Gulf Coast to the failing grades of the 9/11 Commission Report, from the failure of Habeas Corpus to our failure to alleviate poverty and homelessness, we are learning some difficult and slow lessons in our School House Not.

1 comment:

MVD said...

CT Blue agrees here