In One Eye

Tuesday, May 10, 2005
I originally missed this feature on education in Connecticut in Sunday's Washington Post. It's quite complimetary to our commissioner. (It even includes a picture that has her looking less frumpy than usual). Who'da thunk it?
The Connecticut rebellion has transformed Sternberg, 55, from an obscure bureaucrat into a national symbol of resistance to No Child Left Behind. She has been joined by the state's attorney general, Richard Blumenthal, who has threatened a lawsuit over funding, and local school superintendents who are dragging their feet implementing the law.
Of course, the Bushies are falling over themselves trying to belittle this "rebellion."
Federal officials have fired back by accusing Connecticut of tolerating one of the nation's largest "achievement gaps" -- the margin between low-performing minority students and high-performing white students. Spellings infuriated Connecticut officials by depicting opponents of No Child Left Behind as "un-American" in an interview for the PBS "NewsHour" program recently ...

"We are trying to acknowledge the uniqueness of every state," said Deputy Education Secretary Raymond Simon, the Bush administration's primary liaison in the negotiations with Connecticut. "But for every Connecticut, there are a whole lot more states out there that are doing good things."
The clear implication is that Connecticut isn't doing good things. Them's fighting words.

I think that Connecticut's Governor Clubwoman could have had her wish to get these nice ladies to sit down together and somehow iron out their differences. However, by playing the race card, Margaret Spellings (in typical Bushian attack-the-messenger fashion) crossed a line that even the usually timorous Ms. Sternberg couldn't countenance.

It's hard to call someone a racist if that person has had to confront blatant racism herself.