Monday, February 23, 2009

Leaving Bush Behind

It will probably take a few years, maybe longer, to truly root out, shower and scrub, our education system from the abuse it received from the Bush Grindhouse.

You remember, their "No Child Left Behind" abomination.

Well, there is a start ...

Rename Law? No Wisecrack Is Left Behind

Two years ago, an effort to fix No Child Left Behind, the main federal law on public schools, provoked a grueling slugfest in Congress, leading Representative George Miller, Democrat of California, to say the law had become “the most negative brand in America.”

Education Secretary Arne Duncan agrees. “Let’s rebrand it,” he said in an interview. “Give it a new name.”

And before Mr. Duncan has had time to float a single name, scores of educators, policy wonks and assorted rabble-rousers have rushed in with an outpouring of proposals.


The law dates to 1965, when Congress passed it to channel federal money to poor children in the war on poverty, calling it the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

By the early 1990s, a school accountability movement was gaining momentum. In the 1994 reauthorization, the Clinton administration required states to develop new math and reading standards, use more tests, and adopt a benchmark for school improvement known as “adequate yearly progress.” And it gave the law a new name: the Improving America’s Schools Act of 1994.

Most people clung to the original name, however, until Mr. Bush signed No Child Left Behind.

The phrase appears to be borrowed from Ms. Edelman, the founder of the Children’s Defense Fund, who throughout the 1990s seasoned speeches with the phrase “leave no child behind.” In 1994, the organization registered “Leave No Child Behind” as a trademark.

But as early as the mid-1990s, Mr. Bush, then the Texas governor, was routinely using similar phrases. 

In 2000, the organization reminded the Bush campaign about its trademark, but those complaints were brushed aside. After Mr. Bush’s inauguration as president, he sent Congress a thick packet of education proposals to guide the law’s 2001 rewriting, titled No Child Left Behind.

Interesting to see that the Bush Grindhouse was ignoring laws, even before they took they stole the election.

And what names are being generated?
Alternatives are popping up every day on the blog, where Andrew Rotherham, a former Clinton administration official, is sponsoring a rename-the-law contest.

One entry, alluding to the bank bailout program, suggests that it be called the Mental Asset Recovery Plan. Another proposal: the Act to Help Children Read Gooder.


Since Mr. Rotherham announced his contest last week, Eduwonk has received 41 entries, including: the Double Back Around to Pick Up the Children We Left Behind Act, the Rearranging the Deck Chairs Act, the Teach to the Test Act and the Could We Start Again Please Act.

You can visit, and their A Contest! Name That Law!, to throw in your suggestions.

The Garlic offered these;

Leave Bush Behind Act
Clear Bush Policies Act
All Children To The Front Act
Clean Minds Act
Compassionate Education Act
He's Gone, Now We Can Learn Act

And, in homage to former Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, The Flashcards with Buster Act

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