Got to work this morning after driving in the dark after waking up too biologically early after going to sleep at what felt like the right time. I think I could handle Daylight Savings Time better if the shift were more gradual, say, moving the clocks ahead in 10-minute increments over the course of six days, or 1-minute increments over the course of sixty days.
Anyhow, got to work this morning, checked my mailbox, found a hardcopy of the following article from NEA.org, the website of the National Education Association:
A former important cheerleader for No Child Left Behind now says that she, and it, were wrong. Diane Ravitch, a leading education historian who was Assistant Secretary of Education under Pres. George H. W. Bush, says the test-driven accountability strategy of the law “has warped U.S. education in the pursuit of higher test scores, but not better education. Kids, especially in poor neighborhoods, are getting schooling that consists of test prep, test prep, and testing.”
The next paragraph, published at the website of a teachers’ union that promotes education, featured the following sentence:
Law not improving grammar either. In short, Ravitch argues that the federal government doesn’t know how to reform schools, and that it should scale back its involvement in public education.
Fine, but–at risk of starting an argument–why would such staunch opponents of No Child Left Behind (i.e., the National Education Association) favor universal health insurance? After all, if the feds don’t know what they’re doing when it comes to education, why should we expect them to have any idea what they’re doing when it comes to something far more expensive and complicated, such as health care?
Look at Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. They make up a larger and larger piece of the federal spending pie, despite initial promises that they wouldn’t break the bank. And these unfathomably expensive programs are so entrenched that merely talking about reforming them can be political suicide. How many of these massive federal programs have to approach insolvency, increase our unfunded liabilities, and threaten America’s long-term financial stability before we realize that, at least when it comes to social spending, the feds don’t know what they’re doing?
Should we believe that universal health insurance will be the one thing that the federal government finally gets right?
Connecting NCLB and health care may seem a stretch, but Obamacare’s in the news, so I think it’s at least timely to make the connection and ask the question. Furthermore, the NEA does have a position on universal health care, so I think it’s worth pointing out the inconsistent logic behind their positions on health care and NCLB. And yes, I’m sure that if we tweaked just that one little part of NCLB, or that one little part of Social Security, or that one little part of Medicare, everything would be perfectly fine and dandy.