With guest, Louder Than a Bomb poet Nate Marshall

Friday, August 19, 2011

Just what Perry needed to save his crumbling campaign


T-bagger Gov.Perry's "Texas miracle" has been a disaster for public education. He's cut $8B from the public ed budget and fired 50,000 teachers despite a glob of state oil revenues and lots of federal military dollars to spend.

Arne Duncan rode the myth of the  "Chicago miracle" all the way to Washington. Now Duncan has jumped into the 2012 campaign with a weak jab at Perry and Texas schooling. The problem with the Duncan/Perry dust-up is --they're both worse.
But what about the fact, I responded, that on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), Texas' fourth- and eighth-graders substantially outperformed their peers in Chicago in reading and math? "I would have to look at all the details, but there are real challenges in Texas. And like every other state, they should be addressed openly and honestly as in Illinois, as in Chicago, and everywhere else." -- Rotherham at Time
"Texas," writes Rotherham, "may be slightly below the national average, but it's doing a lot better than Chicago, which only graduates about 56% of its students."

Irony: Duncan ought to sync with his buddy Rahm in Chicago. Sinking high school test scores there have prompted Emanuel to once again, hold up Texas, with it's supposedly longer school day, as his ideal.

The real reason for Duncan's ire -- Perry is openly calling, not only for an end to NCLB/Race to the Top and for abolishing the D.O.E., he's even raised the possibility of Texas' secession from the U.S. How Duncan's boss would love to run against that!

But Arne's recent history as a political campaigner is pretty grim. Remember how he jumped into the Fenty for Mayor campaign last year to try and save Michelle Rhee's job and helped snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.Now Duncan has T-Party Republicans across the land begging: "Attack me, attack me!"


  1. Perry may be a joke but he's no fool. Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone, has the best analysis of how fringe politicians like Perry can jump up and down on the corporatist policies of the Obama administration, appealing to the deep dissatisfaction of the traditional Democratic base.

    Matt was blogging about Perry's comments on Bernanke's promise to flood our economy with dollars for the next 2 years. But it applies as well to Obama's education policies -- primarily privatization, and union busting, with computers replacing many teachers -- all sponsored by corporate "ed reformers."

    From Taibbi:

    "To me this whole issue encapsulates the basic failure of the Obama administration. It has surrendered to Wall Street interests, and in doing so has allowed lunatics like Rick Perry to step into legitimate roles as critics of corrupt policy.
    Of course Perry’s gripe with QE isn’t that it boosts corporate/banking profits at the expense of the general population, but that it’s unsound economics and fiscally irresponsible – which is true as well, but that’s not the point. The point is that we’re heading into 2012 and Barack Obama is going to be owning a hell of a lot of corrupt policy. Voters who want to break up the Wall Street/government oligopoly are increasingly left with only fringe politicians as champions, and (here's my Captain Obvious observation) that blows."

  2. Here's a better critique of Perry coming from the head of United Way. Texas is among the worst states when it comes to child poverty. http://www.myfoxlubbock.com/news/local/story/United-Way-Jason-Sabo-children-social-services/fim5XoOJvkm6tmAaIMQfig.cspx


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