Burning Bush

According to Rod Paige, the U.S. Secretary of Education,

Okay, aside from the fact that Mr. Secretary began a sentence with “And…”, as well as using a run-on sentence, all published on the U.S. Department of Education website, I can overlook this to try absorb his message. However, I disagree with his execution of this plan (and the children of our nation). As an aside, I noticed that they edited the quote to incorporate an elipses. Someone must have seen how idiotic it was to have a grammatically incorect quote on the dept. of ed homepage.

What the www.ed.gov site does not easily navigate to is the nuts and bolts of the legislation. That can be found here www.ed.gov/legislation/ESEA02/. This legislation details what Mr. Bush and Mr. Paige define as “accountability” in our educational system. You can download the 1.8 Mb document from this site in Adobe PDF. It is over 1000 pages.

Basically, it definies how states are required to determine standards and assessments on an individual basis, then are required to show “acceptable progress” according to arbitrary national standards each year, or risk being put on and “improvement plan” that includes the introduction of government fiscal managers, staff turnover, loss of funding, and sending letters home to parents telling them their child is attending in a “low performing school”. With that letter comes the guarantee of parental choice to attend another higher performing school, with transportation, courtesy of the home school.

It seems to me that this administration’s plan seems to think that the solution to a lack of improved test scores has the following formula:

funding withdrawal + increased transporatation costs + staff reorganization = school improvement.

All this is based on the fact that each school has to demonstrate growth each year, even though they test different groups of students each year (I smell annual testing fever). This is also based on the fact that every state, with their individualized plans, can meet a Federal standard. Is this really what Mr. Bush and Mr. Paige see as “flexibility”? They are also telling us that if we can’t do this, they’ll pull funding and send money with each child to attend a higher performing school (wasn’t this once called school vouchers?).

Well, at least it’s not a VD rant.

I was half expecting one of Guin’s “big wet pussy” threads…

Is it only because of the Bush association that “No Child Left Behind” sounds like a Federal Rapture-Preparedness Program to me?

FWIW, many English teachers will tell you that starting a sentence with ‘and’ is acceptable. I am one of them.


I always wanted them to use a different Bush quote for the Dept. of Ed. homepage:

Er… Burning Bush… I dunno, can we? Seems a bit drastic, really.

Word, furt. I don’t like Bush, but cut the guy a break! It’s okay to start a sentence with “and.”

Psst! Sometimes you can put prepositions at the end of a sentence, too!

Sentence fragments are okay, too. As long as you know what you’re doing.

Speaking to small and large groups, especially if you have to do it day after day and hour after hour, is not easy. And you end up taking many liberties with “proper” English, which is acceptable much of the time, so long as your message is clear. If you do it continuously, it calls into question basic abilities, or else points to a severe regional dialect.

From R.W. Burchfield (ed.), Fowlers Modern English Usage, 3rd Edition (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996):

And that’s all i have to say on the subject. :slight_smile:


Fowler’s Modern English Usage

Gaudere’s Law claims another victim.