The Education Wonks have posted a very good analysis of a recent speech by Margaret Spellings, W’s Secretary of Education. In that talk, Madame Secretary makes the following statement (I’m assuming with a straight face):
No Child Left Behind is not a mandate, it’s a partnership. It’s an agreement that says, if you take federal taxpayer dollars for education, you must accept responsibility for increasing student achievement.
What she fails to note, however, is that the money provided by the feds amounts to less than 10% of all government education spending in this country. That’s funding for K-12 schools, community colleges, universities, education research, adult education, vocational training – everything!
In exchange for this tip-jar amount, the Department assumes total veto power over the K-12 school curriculum through the heavy hammer of non-stop testing requirements. Not to mention their ridiculous definition of teacher quality.
I guess that’s how W and friends define "partnership".