Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The view from right field

Are the neocons dead?

Have they folded up tent after their devastating loss in November? Uh uh, says Jacob Heilbrunn, writing in the Jan. issue of the American Conservative.

Heilbrunn wonders if, having destroyed the Republican Party, the neocon movement, which has its origins in the left, will re-emerge once again inside the Democratic Party? He speculates that they may have some "liberal interventionist" partners within the new State Department. He didn't, but well could have also suggested that they look for an open door through education reform with pro-voucher, privatization Democrats who are trying desperately to pull the new administration in their direction.

Bush and NCLB were too liberal for these conservative think-tankers

Hess from the American Enterprise Institute & Petrilli from the Fordham Foundation, accuse George Bush of selling-out the right-wing on NCLB. The very things that attracted some progressive educators to No Child, are the things H & P hated the most, ie. its equity language, talking about closing the racial " achievement gap" and its civil rights orientation (H & P call it "pie in the sky") write these Gingrich-ites, in the National Review Online.
The compromises that the administration struck, however, ultimately led Bush to champion a law that dramatically expanded the federal role in education; adopted an explicitly race-based conception of school accountability; focused on “closing achievement gaps” to the exclusion of all other objectives; proffered a pie-in-the-sky civil rights-oriented approach to school “accountability” (even for students with cognitive disabilities and English language learners); created a burdensome federal mandate around teacher qualifications that hampers outfits such as Teach For America; devised a compliance apparatus that is even more burdensome than the previous regime; and significantly increased federal spending on education.

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