Fri, 09 Feb 2007

Your Article on NCLB

Dear Ms Price,

I am at a loss to understand how you could write an article so utterly unbalanced on the No Child Left Behind Act.
To add to the imbalance, you toss in a puff piece on a Virginia school where only "proper business English," is spoken.

What, Ms Price, is proper business English? Theft, greed, bribery, corruption, exploitation, alienation, racism, sexism, and oil wars? Enron, Abramoff, Duke Cunningham, Wilkes, Yoo (a fine torture memo in very proper English), Worldcom? Haliburton, mercenaries, Blackwater, Titan, or SAIC (fine memos in good English at Abu Ghraib). All those companies and all their leaders used Business English, as does the Ford family, laying off Michigan residents by the tens of thousands---maybe because their English is not so good?

Just what is it that you uncritically slop into this piece?

Beyond that, does it appear to you that a society offering its youth perpetual war might make bizarre demands on its youth and their educators? NCLB, written by those who profit from social inequality (like the US Chambers of Commerce and the Business Roundtable), is designed to deepen segregation, not uplift a meritocracy. Test scores measure little but parental income within zip codes, and race. So, a bogus form of science is used to prove that certain social groups, classes, are really undeserving.

Above all, NCLB seeks to replace the mind of the teacher in the classroom meeting a specific student, with the mind of profiteers who write national curricula and high stakes tests, not for the good of all citizens, but for their own narrow interests, and to fashion the kind of witless patriotism that made the Iraq war possible.

I know the editorial bias of the News which opposed, for example, integration, but when that bias so clearly leaps out in a story like yours, it really needs to be checked. I hope the real story is your boss made you write this, not that you actually believe it.

All the best,

Dr Richard Gibson
San Diego State University, Professor Emeritus of Education.