Thursday, January 08, 2009

Defining the word "Miracle" down...

We've all seen or heard of miracles in our lifetimes. The miraculous healing of a sick friend with cancer; the parting of the Red Sea by Moses; the miracle of the five loaves and two fishes.

Now a Minnesota legislator has somehow gathered the gonads to dub increased spending of taxpayer dollars without accountability as a "miracle."

From an internal MN House email:
Dear Colleagues,

The New Minnesota Miracle education finance reform bill is outside my office (381) for signatures. This is the bill stemming from the Governor's education finance reform task force and the P.S. Minnesota report. It equitable and adequately provides funding so all students, no matter where they live and what their challenges are, have the opportunity to graduate from high school ready for success in college, university, technical schools or to go straight into a good job. The House K-12 Education Finance Division held numerous hearings around the state last summer and fall on this bill and received rave reviews in every area of the state. It is scalable, so can be phased in with a little or a lot of funding. Either way, it provides accountability guideposts to measure how our state is doing by our students.

Mindy Greiling
Hmm... accountability guideposts... does that mean that there will be accountability attached to student performance a/la higher achievement scores? Will there be new goals to strive for to provide taxpayers and taxpaying parents measures of the effectiveness of educational programming and the money spent on it?

Hmm... if that's the case, it might not be such a bad thing.

But wait a minute.

Considering the Newspeak that we have come to know by which liberals re-define the English language, using such terms as "contributions" or "investments" to mean "tax increases," or "reproductive health" or "choice" to connote abortion, I felt compelled to ask Ms. Greiling exactly what she meant by the words, accountability guideposts. The exchange went as follows:
[Dear Representative Greiling],

You had mentioned "accountability guideposts" contained in the (381)Minnesota Miracle Education Bill.

Could you please expand on what the accountability guideposts would entail?

Thank you so much--

Leo Pusateri
School Psychologist
To which Ms. Greiling responded:
What I meant was that progress on funding adequacy will be openly measured by the public, by viewing at what pace we phase in the bill.
So, in other words, in Ms. Greiling's Newspeak vernacular, the term "accountability guidepost" has absolutely nothing to do with accountabilty geared toward greater student achievement. Rather, the word "accountability guidepost" has to do with how much money they--the government (via Joe Taxpayer) throws at education.

Some miracle.

Now if the Minnesota DFL Party would actually think about more efficient use of the money they already had and gear that money toward proven techniques that translate into greater student achievement, perhaps then, and only then, could it be termed, "The Minnesota Miracle."