Monday, June 15, 2009

Let the Takeover Begin

Today, Arne Duncan began the PR campaign for the federal take over of education. The sales pitch began in a speech to the nation's governors where Duncan first praised the American way and then affirmed their authority.
The genius of our system is that much of the power to shape our future has wisely been distributed to the states instead of being confined to Washington.

Our best ideas have always come from state and local governments – which are the real hothouses of innovation in America....
But despite what I just said about how innovative you are, the real genius is in DC and he's already got it figured out and you will do it his way.
We think that every state should set internationally benchmarked standards and assessments that prepare students for success in the workforce and college.

World-class standards are the foundation on which you will build your reforms.

Now for some subtle manipulation using the bandwagon effect,

Creating common standards hasn’t always been popular. Right now, though, there’s a growing consensus that this is the right thing to do.
After all 46 states have already signed up so we're almost there, it's time for the final four to get with the program. (Palin that means you too!) As any good salesman does, Duncan now anticipates the objections, critical to making the sale.
It is especially important that this has started at the state level because some people will raise concerns that common standards across states will lead to federal over-reaching...

Federal law does not mandate national standards. It empowers states to decide what kids need to learn and how to measure it....So – while this effort is being led at the state level – as it should be -- it is absolutely a national challenge – that we must meet together or we will compromise our future.
In other words, we know we're usurping your authority and shredding the Constitution but most people don't know or don't care, so we'll get away with it. Now it's time for the closing argument where a little bribery works wonders.
Once new standards are set and adopted you need to create new tests that measure whether students are meeting those standards. Tonight -- I am announcing that the Obama administration will help pay for the costs of developing those tests.
Without reading the fine print, the Governors sign on the dotted line and rise up in praise of the most benevolent one, "Hail Obama! We are forever in your debt." The sale is now complete. The federal government is forever in control and there is no return policy.

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