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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 16, 2004 10:57 PM. The previous post in this blog was Pee-you. The next post in this blog is Practically indispensable. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Saturday, October 16, 2004

Up in the mornin' and out to school

Interesting stories in today's New York Times -- further proof that Saturday's a great day of the week for that grand old rag. First, did you know that the U.S. Department of Education recently paid $700,000 to a consultant to rate various news organizations in terms of their acceptance of (or opposition to) the No Child Left Behind Law? There's even a prominent Portland and Oregonian mention. The consultants also produced a couple of videos that sing the benefits of that law in the guise of a "news story."

Elsewhere, we're being told that bright minority kids in some New York City high schools are being forbidden -- forbidden! -- from applying to certain Ivy League colleges. Their chances are too slim, and their counselors are too busy to fill out the paperwork. How awful.

Comments (16)

Too bad there is such deep incompetence throughout the educational system. This is one of the reasons I am always very skeptical of giving more tax dollars to schools.

I was probably the strongest academic student at a local high school and as a Hispanic, I was feeling rather good about my prospects for college. My counselor met with me one day, talked about my situation and stated that I would be best served by attending the local community college.

I didn't give much credence to her suggestion, but others in a similar position might have, and in turn, miss out on a number of opportunities.

Incompetence at the Federally run school system?! I'm shocked! Postively shocked that such predatory self-interest ($700,000 consultant) or lazy behavior (Ivy League cut-off) could happen. This is what happens when the Democrats run the schools (via the Dept of Education).

And $700,000 is a reasonable price for all of the work done. It's a shame the gov't spent my money to do such a survey (via the Democrat Special Interest Group of the Dept of Education)....but the amount itself seems correct.

As for the 'no child' law, how about a study showing how useless it is? And how about a study showing that the all day kindergarten program is a shell-game for mothers looking for all-day babysitting? If the New York Times started doing reporting like that, I might read it.

Scott: Give it a rest. The last time I looked, the Dept. of Education had a Republican in charge. And the "study" in question was clearly directed by the GOP operatives who love the "NCLB" charade.

Perhaps the most staggering fact in the article about the Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn High School is this: of 4,700 students, only FOUR HUNDRED are seniors. Hell of a dropout rate. Talking about kids being left behind.

The Dept of Education is a union for Democrats, who happen to be teachers. The leadership may change, but with NCLB there's no difference between the 2 main parties on education anymore. Which is a shame.

As for the NCLB act, everyone should oppose it. The fact that republicans don't surprises me. Maybe it caught the democrats off-guard when it was proposed, it goes really far in getting kids into the gov't school system early. They sort of out-democrated the democrats with that one. One reason (sort of) to vote independent.

In an experience similar to Alpal3, 20+ years ago I was actively discouraged by my high school counselor to not apply to competitive colleges. I went Marshall High School which, to this day, is situated in a lower-income neighborhood.

Thankfully I blissfully ignored the idiot and graduated from Cornell University in 1989.

I can tell you that a big chunk of that 700 grand went to develop and place those video news releases (vnr's) themselves, with only a percentage going to measurement, which is a component now built into any public relations program.

And it was a PR program from start to finish, no question about it - the built-in measurement, along with the skewed standards used, is an ironic commentary on the No Child Left Behind act itself.

Although this program looked to be pretty well funded - most companies want you to toss in the measurement and analysis for free...

I meant to add - 700 grand for media measurement and clip analysis alone (if that turns out to be the case)?

Highway robbery. Media measurement isn't like conducting surveys or studies - it's people reading clips and evaluating how well the coverage did at promoting the client's key messages and/or achieving the client's communication goals, as identified early on.

And I'll tell you right now that most huge corporations wouldn't spend 700 grand for the clip analysis part of an overall media measurement program for an entire year - let alone to capture the results of one VNR.

This figure has to include the whole PR package.

"Scott: Give it a rest. The last time I looked, the Dept. of Education had a Republican in charge. And the 'study' in question was clearly directed by the GOP operatives who love the 'NCLB' charade."

Scott & I are so cranky we should have our own poster board -- where we wouldn't agree with each other more than a quarter of the time, either. ;)

(You're my favorite local Democrat ever, though; might be Scott's too .... yikes.)

The department of education is a failure and always has been. We keep insisting that everybody want or needs an education.. If that was the case--- everyone would be in school the rest of their lives with no workers only chiefs-- if someone is a failure at school--- don't hold back the rest of the class for them. If a child doesn't want to learn-- then save those funds for a child that does-- If school districts don't perform--cut them and focus on the ones that do

Yeah Jack, in talking with a friend of mine who works at the Salt Lake Tribune, apparently their reporter recieved a 7 out of 100.

Tax money hard at work indeed...

"We keep insisting that everybody want or needs an education.. If that was the case--- everyone would be in school the rest of their lives with no workers only chiefs...."

Then if everybody wanted or needed food, everyone would be at the table all the time with no chefs, only diners?

Your comment makes no sense. Needing an education doesn't mean only needing an education, or needing it limitlessly and to the exclusion of anything else.

And I don't much care for the public school system, either.

Well, this is not new. Nor is it limited to minorities.

A friend of my brother's was set to graduate from Tigard HS in 1982. He was white, middle class, and had a 1600 (I kid you not) on his SATs. His counsellor told him not to bother applying to Princeton, because they'd never taken anyone from Tigard before. Being a bright guy, he ignored this advice and got admitted to Princeton.

Here's my advice to high schoolers everywhere: if you think your guidance counsellor might be holding you back, assume that they are and act accordingly. You've nothing to lose by doing so.

I was recruited by Cal for undergrad in 1989 and my high school counselor told me I could never get in when I asked her to help me with my application. Thank god I ignored her and still applied. It's nice to be a Cal Bear (especially when they are finally winning football games).


"We keep insisting that everybody want or needs an education.. If that was the case--- everyone would be in school the rest of their lives with no workers only chiefs...."

The biggest cost (beyond the standard waste of bureaucracy) is dealing with the students at either end of the Bell Cruve for motivation (or ability). If kids want to drop out, let 'em - save the effort of 'special' education programs which, arguably, don't accomplish much.


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