August 6, 2007

Framing NCLB debates

Matthew Yglesias has a point about the the details of NEA's No Contractor Left Behind flyer passed out liberally at YearlyKos this weekend. Yglesias notes that the message of the flyer relies on sloppy reasoning and is more sensationalist than sensible.

I'm worried by something else about the flyer: it's irrelevant to NCLB policy debates. As I've argued before, you can agree with the conflict-of-interest argument 100% and decide that the appropriate response is to build in more procedural safeguards against such dealings, not change the structure of NCLB. Fundamentally, it's a waste of NEA's resources to push this, and as a member, I'm ashamed at the poor decision-making.

But I think I understand why NEA staff have still diverted it: it holds a certain appeal for those of us angry with the Bush shenanigans. Mike Klonsky's entry on the matter demonstrates the appeal that the flyer holds for some.

(Incidentally, for those who know of Yglesias's relationship with Sara Mead, this isn't a devious insider plan to discredit the NEA. If I were really devious and wanted NCLB to be reauthorized intact, I'd encourage the NEA to waste even more resources on this nonsense. There are real conflicts of interest, but that's not a wise political focus if you want to change policy structures.)

And now, back to editing a 104-page manuscript for EPAA. It's a good one, but as I've discovered the efficiency of giving suggestions on accepting a manuscript, it's labor-intensive. I need to take breaks from the close reading/editing, and the blog will get the benefit of that.

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Posted in Accountability Frankenstein on August 6, 2007 10:24 AM |