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Ted Kennedy doing his part in the War on Education April 3, 2007

Posted by @Doc in 2008 Campaign, Education, No Child Left Behind, No Child Left Untested, Ted Kennedy.

Our much-beloved senior senator from the state of Massachusetts is stumping for a massive No Child Left Untested Behind re-up, and we ought to all be concerned. As the footer to the article notes, Teddy was one of the authors of the act. He’s kind enough to acknowledge that it’s not perfect legislation and does point to important concerns (you need to fund the damned mandates, for instance), and I think we all agree with the stated goals – stronger standards, better teachers, a system that prepares students for the challenges we’re all going to face in the world, etc.

Then again, we all agree that we’d like world peace, too. It’s just that some people think that’s best accomplished by invading Iraq.

The problem is that NCLB isn’t a good-faith policy – it’s a tour de double-speak, a financial windfall for the nation’s booming assessment industry that replaces teaching with teaching-to-the-test, encourages systemic fraud and eradicates the kinds of critical thinking that are essential for a healthy democracy. (See “Over-testing and the ‘accountability’ dodge” for more.)

NCLB is a trainwreck that the US will still be paying for 40 years after it’s abolished. It’s time for Ted and his co-conspirators in the War on Education to shut up, step off and stand down. They’re not the solution – they’re the problem.



1. Martin - April 3, 2007

Couldn’t agree more. I’m usually a huge Teddy supporter, but this is a shameful piece of legislative flotsam that he never should have attached his name to.

2. drslammy - April 3, 2007

Anytime we see Dubya and Teddy cuddling like this we ought to be powerfully worried. Politics makes strange bedfellows, but not THAT strange.

3. Linda - April 3, 2007

Every parent I know is sick to death of the emphasis on testing, and the negative side effects are widespread. Quit dumbing us down simply to pad the pocketbooks of the testing companies and to create a pool of standardized cheap labor.

4. drslammy - April 4, 2007

Thank you for putting this so cleanly and directly.

5. Pat - April 4, 2007

I wonder if Senator Kennedy has recently listened to the 1960 debates between his brother, presidential hopeful Jack, and Richard Nixon? CSPAN radio recently broadcast the first debate, the most controversial that supposedly tipped the scales for Kennedy, especially for those watching television. Radio listeners mostly called it a draw. In that debate, both Nixon and Kennedy agree that public education MUST be supported by the federal government, but NOT with strings attached. The money should be given to the states and let them and the local districts decide how best that money should be spent. Oh, how far we’ve come. I am running for our local school board (in Pennsylvania) on the platform of virtually dismanteling NCLB.

6. drslammy - April 4, 2007

Please keep me posted on how the campaign is going. I’d love to be in a spot where we have money to throw behind candidates we support, but heck, do I look like Hillary?

Nonetheless, I want this campaign to serve as a gravity well for those of us who agree on these principles, and if there are things we can do to help, we’ll do them.

7. sa - April 4, 2007

Look, I’m a Republican – my kids go to private school and i pay good money for it! why should i have to pay for poor people’s kids? Let them all fight it out down there in the muck. We have good rich lives and need a servant class, not only to cheaply take care of our needs and work for our companies, but also to suit up and go to war for us while we milk the system for all its worth. And another thing, I don’t want to pay any taxes while all this is going on. I created one million 6 dollar an hour jobs for the people. It’s about creating jobs! Not only do I want to be rich – but I want to make the poor people’s lives as hard as possible. Why? Because I can! My buddy Bush is in office! Less government is the way to free the people – “less government” means: More Corporate power. And corporations can be trusted! It’s not like they are trying to get everyone to work as cheap as possible! It’s not like corporations have profit as a motive! We are for the good of the People! It’s only right that Health care is run for profit – and oh, by the way, I’m a total a#$hole, f$ckwod.

all war, all the time.


8. USA is Rotted - April 4, 2007

the US secretary of education has the following level of education: bachelor’s degree in political science. pretty neat trick: pimp all the public schools of the USA in order to profit one or two companies. shitcan the whole works. under bushco, the only thing the agency heads do is send out privatization contracts, like the bastard law-professor from harvard running FEMA which is a sham agency used to bully the people using Homeland Security. the corporate heads of state don’t seem to care to label anything, do any governing, much less even tell you what they are doing, but the IRS will take your home and put you in jail if you don;t pay them and the local SWAT-team “war on drugs” police, who have no job otherwise, will drive you into the ground if they get the chance because they are desperate for money. local pirates, national thieves, and a bunch of bully-AM radio and television commentators to mercilessly prop it up. Somebody needs to let the air out of the inflatable stiffy. However, when the bully is done, guess what? You have nothing and have been ripped-off. And your kids and youth are stupid, since they attend the Temple of Ignorance.

9. WJM - April 4, 2007

Education in this country has been going downhill since Reagan. I was fortunate enough to have been done with my formal educatin before then, so I watched it happen. NCLB is just the latest in the right wing’s assault on this country. They saw the 60’s as a result of too much education and too much free thought, and they have since worked very hard to change it to what we have now, a generation that can’t think, and wants to be told what to believe. You can tell Kennedy era kids from Reagan era kids by how they write, discuss, and think.

NCLB is just the latest front in the war on thinking Americans. Unfortunately, it’s very effective in removing thought from the educaton process. This Kennedy should be ashamed of it, and should be doing everything he can to eliminate it.

10. JB - April 4, 2007

See this:


and this:


Just a couple of the many exposes that have been offered to show the nepotism and self-interest driving this anti-education agenda.

Ted Kennedy may be a renowned Dem. But he’s a rich guy first. That “loose confederation of millionaires and billionaires, baby” that Paul Simon refers to is not a fiction.

I refer you to Deep Throat’s famous directive to Woodward and Bernstein (back when they were journalists and not bobbing their heads in the laps of the power brokers) – “Follow the money….”

11. What Makes Teddy Run - Follow the Money.... « Dr. Slammy in 2008 - April 5, 2007

[…] Slammy did a pretty good take-down on Teddy Kennedy in his recent post on Kennedy’s support of No Test Publisher Child Left Behind. But Kennedy is only a role player […]

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