Saturday, June 14, 2008
Teacher Granted Interview with President Bush
Hot on the heels of the Scott McLellan book and Susan Neuman's shocking admission that NCLB was actually a privatization scheme, I traveled to Washington and was granted an exclusive interview with the President. The interview is causing quite a stir. I called my mom and told her about it. My girls read it. I called four of my naive teacher friends with whom I've argued over the years about Bush's suitability for the presidency and shared the interview with them. "I told you so!" I said. That sent them reeling. Now I'm sharing the interview with you.
INTERVIEWER: Mr. Bush, I understand the press corps gave you a good-natured ribbing at a recent correspondents' dinner, including some jabs about the No Child Left Behind Act.
THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, right. That roast, heh, it was quite a performance, lots of self-defecating humor. In West Texas, probably your state too, we've got an idea, a saying, an idea - whatever - that you can't take yourself too seriously. I got schooled up East but I was raised in Texas so I'm a down-home kind of guy. I'm...what was that? I'm self- defecating when the occasion calls for it. I'm humble and I don't take my mind too seriously but make no mistake, when I'm Decider I do...take my laws seriously. As the Decider I have to do some tough deciding about what's right for the country.
INTERVIEWER: I watched footage of the correspondents' dinner. Susan Neuman's admission that NCLB was really a privatization scheme, at least in the minds of some if its engineers, was addressed. Your response at the dinner generated some laughter. You have since denied that the law was intended to discredit public schools.
THE PRESIDENT: Presidenting isn't easy. As I said, you have to do some tough deciding. The No Child Left Behind Law is a good law. It's working. It's meant to rattle some cages and shake the feathers off our public schools, exposing their failures to educate.
INTERVIEWER: Sir, there are many signs the law isn't working. Dropout rates are rising and the achievement gaps the law was meant to address have hardly budged.
THE PRESIDENT: The dropout rates are rising? Yeah, I heard some rumors about that were running across the internets. And we've still got some pockets of persistent literacy across America which is unacceptable but we're making progress. NCLB must be strengthened and reauthorized and continued to allowed to spread its wings of faith and compassion around America's school childrens to capture that illiteracy, hold them captive, and spread their wings of literacy and soar out of poverty. You teach a child to read and they can pass a literacy test and compete for good competitive jobs in the global economy.
The soft bigotries of low expectation has got to stop. Before NCLB, seldom did teachers ask, "Is all my students learning? If so, which is and who isn't?" We've given teachers tools to help all their students soar. You've got data dis aggrandized into those oh what is it -Look it up -those groups of divisions those subgroups, that's it. NCLB is based on sound scientific-based assumptions proven what works and doesn't work to educate all children to grade level.
And parents need to help. When Laura and I were little we loved to read to our girls. Sometimes when I sleep at night I think of Dr. Seuss's Ham and Eggs book...the green ones. And I l like hop on pop-up books.
to be continued...
Posted by tauna at 9:07 PM