Tuesday, June 13, 2006


You had to wince last week as the highly-paid State Education Commissioner and the State Board of Education made a big deal out of high school mascots with names that they thought were rude to Native Americans, while at the same time:

-- Nebraska’s learning standards, put in place by this same commissioner, Doug Christensen, and the State Board, got a credibility rating just a tick above flunking, with a D-. That’s because the percentage of students the State proclaims as “proficient” based on the State’s own standards is so much higher than the percentage of kids who scored that way on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. That means Nebraska doesn’t have much, if any, “truth in advertising” about how well our kids stack up compared to kids from the rest of the nation. We have one of the widest credibility gaps in the nation, too. It strongly suggests we dumbed down our standards precipitously to get around the quality requirements of No Child Left Behind. Our standards and assessment system is telling our parents and taxpayers that kids are doing great, but apparently, they’re really not. What have I been saying for several years? Eek, eek, eek. And Christensen and the State Board are responsible for this, but all they can harp about is sports mascots called the “Braves.” See:

-- The same commissioner got the same state board to fork over more than $100,000 in tax dollars to nonsense education industry groups as “dues,” when the net effect of what we get for that money is to have our schools dumbed down and nationalized. Nebraska is paying $58,200 to the Education Commission of the States, $29,213 to the Council of Chief State School Officers, $20,802 to the National Association of State Boards of Education, and some other sum, not listed in the minutes, to the Nebraska Association of School Boards. You can see the invoices by clicking on the hot links at item 7.3.1 on the state board’s minutes:

-- Did you catch the name of the second organization, the Council of Chief State School Officers, to which Christensen belongs, and for which Nebraska taxpayers pay more than $29,000 a year so that he can hobknob with educrat buddies? Well, did you notice how they like to have themselves called “Chief”? Do you think they all wear feather headdresses as they woo-woo around at the workshops and cocktail parties? Do you think it’s good public policy for Nebraska taxpayers to be financing this kind of racial injustice? Or should we withhold our $29,000 until they change their name, and act the way Christensen is, harping on a handful of high schools who are only seeking to identify with what’s great about Native Americans and our history, anyway. Naaaaah. It would take forever to get rid of the word “chief” from educrat documentation. If you search the State Ed Department’s website,
www.nde.state.ne.us, you’ll see that Christensen loves to have himself called “Ed Chief,” and that the superintendents love to have themselves called “chief” executive officers, and the guys who give the General Equivalency Diploma tests love to call themselves “chief examiners” . . . in fact, the educrats themselves are crawling with what could be considered racially-inspired, self-inflicted, embarrassing epithets. But does anybody care? Not really. We’re all too busy making enough money to pay the taxes to finance the educrats’ membership in these do-nothing organizations.

And don’t even get me started about the REAL issue, which is conveniently dodged, which is the sad, sorry status of Native American children’s learning in Nebraska schools. . . .

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