Monday, April 18, 2005

Spelling Spellings with Keef

I flipped through the paper soon after posting my last post, and found an article in USA Today that says the U.S. Education Department’s inspector general found no ethics breach in the fact that the U.S. Department of Education paid a syndicated columnist almost a quarter of a million dollars to say good things about No Child Left Behind. I find that there’s a lot wrong with this story, but that’s not what got me fired up. On the same page, was a big picture of our new Secretary of Education, Margaret Spellings. I didn’t know that we had a new Secretary of Education, so I happened to go look her up, hoping I might find someone who is open to the ideas of the Village Idiot.
Instead, I found that as a nation, we’re in far more trouble than I suspected.

If you go to the U.S. department of education’s website you can see many pictures of our Secretary of Education doing stuff. They have pictures of her at meetings, pictures of her giving speeches, and pictures of her giving more speeches. There aren’t any pictures of her grading papers or planning lessons, because she doesn’t do that, and the worst part is, as far as I can tell, she’s never done that.

Here’s her resume, according to her official U.S. Dept. of Ed. Bio:
-During President George W. Bush's first term, Spellings served as Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy where she helped craft education policies, including the No Child Left Behind Act.
-Prior to her White House appointment, Spellings worked for six years as Governor George W. Bush's Senior Advisor with responsibility for developing and implementing the Governor's education policy.
-Previously, Spellings served as associate executive director of the Texas Association of School Boards.

Do you see teaching in there anywhere? I didn’t either. I kept reading, expecting her teaching credentials to pop up any second. Instead, here’s the next paragraph in its entirety:
Born in Michigan in 1957, Spellings moved with her family at a young age to Houston, Texas, where she attended public schools. She graduated from the University of Houston in 1979 with a bachelor's degree in political science and journalism.

Oh great, she’s never graded a research paper in her life and she’s making policy for all the teachers in America. Political science and journalism?
She is, however, the first mother of school children to serve as U.S. Secretary of Education, as her official bio points out.

Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, (right). At a conference with Maryland Schools Superintendent Nancy Grasmick. (left). Dr. Grasmick’s career in education began as a teacher of deaf children at the William S. Baer School in Baltimore City. She subsequently served as a classroom and resource teacher, principal, supervisor, assistant superintendent, and associate superintendent in the Baltimore County Public Schools. In 1989, Governor William Donald Schaeffer appointed her Special Secretary for Children, Youth, and Families and, in 1991, the State Board of Education appointed her State Superintendent of Schools. Dr. Grasmick received her doctorate from the Johns Hopkins University, her master’s degree from Gallaudet University, and her bachelor’s degree from Towson University. Secretary Spellings has a B.A. in Poli Sci and Journalism.

So here's my candidate, the person that will head up edumacation when I'm King. I thought about this carefully, because I take education fairly seriously, and realized that since the government hasn't bothered to appoint a teacher, there's not reason I should either. I certainly wouldn't appoint an "educational consultant" or an "education expert" because they often don't know their ass from a hole in the ground. So instead of a teacher, I appointed someone I would like to hang out with. I figure that Keith and I can hang at the palace and we'll leave the educatin' to people who know what they're doing, teachers.

Rock On, Mr. Secretary

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