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Hullabaloo


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

 
An "A" in cheating for the cult of conservatism

by David Atkins

Republicans do seem to be experts at fixing the facts around the policy in so many ways:

Former Indiana and current Florida schools chief Tony Bennett built his national star by promising to hold “failing” schools accountable. But when it appeared an Indianapolis charter school run by a prominent Republican donor might receive a poor grade, Bennett’s education team frantically overhauled his signature “A-F” school grading system to improve the school’s marks.

Emails obtained by The Associated Press show Bennett and his staff scrambled last fall to ensure influential donor Christel DeHaan’s school received an “A,” despite poor test scores in algebra that initially earned it a “C.”
The next quote is my favorite:

“They need to understand that anything less than an A for Christel House compromises all of our accountability work,” Bennett wrote in a Sept. 12 email to then-chief of staff Heather Neal, who is now Gov. Mike Pence’s chief lobbyist."
If Republicans don't cheat to make big-donor charter schools look better than public schools, accountability will be compromised!

My first thought when reading a sentence like that is to wonder whether the person who wrote it was cackling with knowing evil maniacal laughter when he did, or if Mr. Bennett is simply so dedicated to his ideology that he actually meant it with a straight face--that only accountability for public schools matters, and any cheating to make public schools look worse justifies the means.

I think the latter is probably more terrifying. The dead, determined eyes of the cult member are far more terrifying that the greedy gleam of the malicious huckster. You can bargain with or intimidate the huckster. The cultist, not so much.



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