ID Bar
Volume II, Number 2, February, 2004

The real threats of terror are serious enough to create ugly walls around important monuments and send the nation reeling with apprehension every time there is a change in color.

To accuse a teacher's union of being a terrorist organization is grotesque, a smear tactic and a confusion of issues.

Playing the "terror card" like playing the "race card" is disgraceful.

Paige Plays
The Terror Card

By Jamie McKenzie (about author)

© 2004, Jamie McKenzie, all rights reserved.

In a remarkable moment of clarity, the Secretary of Education, Rod Paige is reported by the Washington Post to have used TERROR as a way to criticize, discredit and darken the reputation of a group questioning the wisdom, practicality and health of the Bush education plan.

Paige Calls NEA a 'Terrorist' Group - By Amy Goldstein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, February 24, 2004; Page A19

Union Urges Bush to Replace Education Chief Over Remark
By SAM DILLON and DIANA JEAN SCHEMO of the New York Times, February 25, 2004.

Join the call for the resignation and replacement of the Secretary of Education.

Send the Secretary a letter expressing your surprise and indignation at his attack. http://www.givekidsgoodschools.com/campaign/paige

The above link takes you to a site sponsored by The Public Education Network.

GiveKidsGoodSchools.com is a nonprofit advocacy campaign to ensure quality public educations for all children in America.

© 2004, Jamie McKenzie, all rights reserved. This article may be e-mailed to individuals by individuals, but all other duplication, distribution, publication and use is prohibited without first receiving explicit permission. Contact for information.
What can you do to change this law before it does great damage to the schools and children in your state and town?
  1. Subscribe to "No Child Left" to stay informed about efforts to repeal NCLB. Click here.
  2. Speak with the school board members, administrators and teachers in your community to learn how NCLB will change schools and learning in your town.
  3. Start communicating with your Senators and Representatives to let them know you want this law changed to put more emphasis on capacity building and support rather than testing and punishment.
  4. Write letters to the editor of your local newspaper expressing your concerns. Illustrate the dangers of this law with specific and compelling examples.
  5. Emphasize concrete alternatives that would do more to improve the futures of disadvantaged children.

A List of ESEA (NCLB) Amendments

1. Fund social programs that impact school readiness so that all children actually enter school ready to learn as the first President Bush promised long ago.

2. Fund capacity building (enhanced teaching and learning) in districts and districts for several years before engaging in punishing labels and reckless choice provisions. Capacity building might mean providing hundreds of hours of training in effective reading strategies, for example. But it does not mean training everybody in a single highly scripted program endorsed by the administration for pseudo-scientific reasons.

3. Devote public money to truly public schools. Be careful not to divert funds to reckless experiments or diploma mills.

4. Fund enough construction of new schools within public systems so parental choice is real.

5. Support informed school choice within public systems.

6. Emphasize rewards and incentives rather than sanctions.

7. Hold all publicly funded schools to standards for performance and quality, whether actually private, charter or truly public. Be careful about simplistic notions of high stakes testing.

8. Fund recruitment and preparation of effective teachers and aides from all racial and economic groups to close the gap between current staffing levels and what is desirable.

9. End the insulting, broad brush assaults on teachers and administrators struggling against difficult challenges.

10. Capitalize on the good research conducted to discover what works best in schools and avoid simplistic panaceas and platitudes imported from the world of business and medicine.

11. Enrich the options available to all children. Forswear tightly scripted, robotic programs and the fast food approaches to school improvement.

12. Build school improvement on a richly defined foundation of alternatives and strategies.

13. Eliminate Trojan horses, hidden agendas and shameful politics from ESEA.

14. Stop using Madison Avenue techniques to hide the harsh realities of so-called compassionate conservatism.