In One Eye

Tuesday, April 19, 2005
It's been a busy day, so I'll note just these two items:

First, yesterday's meeting that Governor Clubwoman set up between Betty Sternberg and Margaret Spellings seems to have been the superficial event everyone might have expected.
U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings and state Education Commissioner Betty J. Sternberg had what was called a cordial meeting Monday, but Sternberg left without an apology or a concession on annual student testing.

The two have had sharp disagreements over the interpretation of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, the centerpiece of President Bush's school reform agenda. Last week, Sternberg asked for an apology from Spellings, who had accused Connecticut of trying to find a loophole in the law and implied that the state's attitude toward black children is "un-American."

After meeting for about an hour, Sternberg said "there wasn't an explicit apology" though she said both she and Spellings agreed "we are on the same playing field ... understanding that we embrace the goals of No Child Left Behind."
Wow. The goals of NCLB are that US students be more successful. The two educational doyennes could actually agree on that no-brainer, huh? Let me catch my breath.

It was left to Richard Blumenthal to describe this meeting for what it was: "'Better manners, same message,' said Blumenthal, who did not attend the meeting. 'This meeting yielded vague, soothing happy talk, but no specific commitment to end unfunded mandates.'"

Unfortunately, "vague soothing happy talk" seems to have been just what the governor wanted all along out of the encounter.

And speaking of the governor, she's certainly discovered one person she can cross off her Christmas card list.
House Speaker James Amann lashed out at Gov. M. Jodi Rell Tuesday, angrily vowing to schedule a vote on the Democrats' spending bill despite the governor's promised veto.

"Let her veto. Let her get carpal tunnel. I don't care," said Amann, D-Milford.

Amann said he won't attend Rell's regularly scheduled meeting with legislative leaders on Wednesday as a protest to her veto threat.

Amann said he was upset by the tone of Rell's news release criticizing the two-year, $31.7 billion spending plan passed by the Democrat-controlled Appropriations Committee on Monday. In a written statement, the Republican governor chastised Democrats for exceeding the state's cap on spending by more than $434 million.
I'm not really a big fan of Amann, as I always thought he was too compliant in letting our former unctuous governor have his way for the last few years. Perhaps the House Speaker feels he can say such things with impunity to a woman.