Thursday, January 17, 2008

Agreeing with API's Gary Palmer ... Nevermind

I had a bit of a fright in finding and then doing a quick read of Gary Palmer of the Alabama Policy Institute in my hometown Randolph Leader. I've posted on API several times over the years yet their Michael Ciamarra has been a favorite shill to scold. The title Palmer: State's children cheated by unreliable standards had me initially thinking Gary had seen the light over "accountability" measured by high stakes testing. Had he bitten the hands that feed him? Of course not.

Gary is frustrated with some systems fudging the numbers. And he should be. Yet he and his helped bring us No Child Left Behind. Did Gary mention how Bu$hCo's original Department of Education leader Rod Paige had fudged the numbers of the Texas Miracle that got us in this mess? Or dare he mention Paige's profiteering? Nope. Did he offer up that these damnable tests only measure low level learning rather than if a student was taught to think, or marshall evidence, or search for information, or ...? Nope.

The end of the piece had the Alabama Policy Institute identified as "a non-partisan, non-profit research and education organization dedicated to the preservation of free markets, limited government and strong families." Non-partisan? Hardly. Part of the right wing "think tank" or "policy shop" efforts to create seemingly legitimate information and then get the message out to the masses, API is funded by some of the usual suspects like the Bradley money. Note the Jaquelin Hume Foundation as well. They are so "free" market oriented that their Foundation for Teaching Economics will use Rosa Parks and the Civil Rights Movement to then let the markets with their incentive get some credit for ending discrimination. The Hume family also helped take Ronald Reagan from a b-list movie actor to Governor of California and then the White House. Then they helped The Gipper with the Citizens for America outfit that Black Jack Abramoff later was to lead. Nasty bunch with their funneling money to the Contras among their dastardly deeds.

What an opportunity to go after Gary Palmer's API and this radicalism that has become mainstream yet I actually did think for a moment I'd find common cause with Gary. Shame on me. P/W

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