Unstoppable U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings is at it again. On hand today with representatives from top toy manufacturer Mattel, Spellings curtailed her trips around U.S. cities promoting charter schools long enough to announce the launch of a distinctive new line of Barbie dolls and accessories being manufactured specifically to appeal to poor and minority children as well as poor white trash children.
"From the Projects and Trailer Parks to the Ivy Leagues" is the motivational theme of the new line, which promotes the bright line testing and accountability provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act, President Bush's signature domestic achievement.
Spellings, sporting rectangular tortoise shell glasses and her trademark sassy blond haircut, raved over the line's distinctive Ivy League Apparel, an array of t-shirts, hooded sweatshirts, caps, polos, totes, and backpacks, along with tiny digital cameras and chat-with-me picture phones. In Spellings' honor the new Barbie line offers a selection of fashion eyeglasses in assorted colors, including half-frames.
Accessories include Charter Heights Dream School complete with awesome school house furniture and tiny test taking paraphernalia: standardized test booklets, practice test booklets, scantrons, test preparation flash cards, and number 2 pencils.
Test marketing indicates that by far the most compelling accessories are the tiny interactive computers (including laptops!) which actually allow children to listen, learn, and interact while Barbie and friends practice their test-taking skills. Spellings appeared to get a special kick out of pressing Barbie's tummy and hearing her recite the components of the six step writing process in addition to other vital test-taking tips.
"Well, this is the cutest Barbie stuff I've ever seen!" marveled Spellings. "Enough with curvaceous plastic molds who don't know the flippin' main idea from the supporting details!"
The new Barbie line will feature both Black and White dolls and will debut in the fall in selected Walmart stores around the country.