Bunker Mulligan "Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry." ~Mark Twain

February 28, 2005

The “For the Children” Lie

Filed under: Education — Bunker @ 1:33 pm

The National Conference of State Legislatures are not a happy group. They do not like the No Child Left Behind program.

The conference believes the law is unconstitutional but officials say the organization won’t challenge it. That doesn’t mean someone else won’t.

Mercy. They finally agree that the Department of Education really isn’t accounted for in the Constitution? So why don’t they challenge the constitutionality?

President Bush was in Europe when the report was issued but is unlikely to take kindly to criticism of what he considers one of his signature pieces of legislation. His reaction is likely to be much like that of House Education Committee Chairman John Boehner: “They want the funding No Child Left Behind is providing, but they don’t want to meet the high standards that come with it.”

Federal money. The salve for all governmental wounds. “Just give us the money! We know how to spend it!”

Unfortunately, as I have written several times, and as Paulie has commented many times, money does nothing to cure the problems in education. If anything, money only compounds the problems by continuing to feed the monster eating our children.

A definite change in approach and attitude is needed. I cannot with any confidence say that teachers unions are at fault. But I can point a finger at those who control teacher certification, and legislators who feel compelled to throw money at the problem because they aren’t creative enough to do anything else. State school boards control many of the things that cause problems in schools, and are pretty much unaccountable to anyone. They hold position through glad-handing of teachers’ unions and legislators, as well as the institutional guild apprenticeship programs (to steal a phrase from one of my commenters) that perpetuate a system devoted to process rather than quality.

Every year wasted debating money rather than the system’s structure punishes kids.

For once, I’d like to see the educational establishment and legislators actually do something “for the children.”

In Living Color

Filed under: General — Bunker @ 11:50 am

I didn’t realize there was color film during The Great War.

(Dean’s link)

Golf’s origins

Filed under: Golf — Bunker @ 11:25 am

One of my regular readers sent me a link for Robin Williams explains the creation of golf.

Every other word is a curse word, but funny, regardless!

Thanks, John.

Elementary Education Reform

Filed under: Education — Bunker @ 9:35 am

I’m one of the few (if not the only) non-educators involved with a project here in town to reduce the dropout rate. With all the things that affect kids deciding to drop out of school, guess which is the first topic we’re looking at.

Teacher pay.

Actually, we are looking at teacher recruitment and retention. But pay is the only thing that my working group wants to discuss. The Corpus Christi Independent School District starts teachers at $35K–not bad for nine months work and a simple (one of the simplest) college degree. Yet no other issue gets any discussion.

I have posted some of my own thoughts about our education system–several times–on my local site. I would appreciate any comments from those of you around the country and the world on my latest post there. My friends down under are welcome to throw in their experience with the public school system as some added options for improving things. Perhaps the time has come for an honest and open discussion about what is best for our kids.

February 27, 2005

Weather Changes

Filed under: General,Golf — Bunker @ 6:45 pm

When I went to the golf course this morning, the air was wet and cold. But by noon, the sky had cleared and it turned into a beautiful day.

I haven’t played in three weeks–too many happenings at the Mulligan house. And the work continued today. Yesterday I tried to partition the HUGE hard drive on Mrs. Birdie’s computer, and the machine crashed. Today I returned to try and get it going again. I finally got Windows reinstalled, moved some shortcuts around, and it crashed once again. That, along with building some shelves for her and doing the weekend grilling ate up all my time, and her computer is still down. Birdie had not made the rescue disks before he left, so we ordered them direct and will get the machine back to work in the next day or so.

Golf? Started out with two pars and a bogey, then didn’t get another par until the 13th hole (the beautiful 3-par view in the link above). I managed to par several more before finishing, but my score wasn’t anything to brag about. I did hit a bunch of fairways, and outdrove all in my group most of the time. A few chunky iron shots really ruined my score.


February 26, 2005

Burka and Rather

Filed under: Media — Bunker @ 7:38 pm

Received the latest edition of Texas Monthly today, opened it up and saw That Blog Won’t Hunt. My first read of the issue.

Over the years, Dan Rather, the subject of Gary Cartwright’s cover story (Dan Rather Retorting), has withstood the criticism of presidents, members of Congress, and fellow journalists. But when CBS aired his 60 Minutes Wednesday report on young George W. Bush’s career in the Texas Air National Guard last September, Rather found himself assailed, and ultimately brought down, by an entirely different group of critics—the bloggers, anonymous commentators on current events with pseudonyms like “Hindrocket” and few, if any, media credentials, except access to the world’s biggest printing press: the Internet. Even while the 60 Minutes report was still being aired, bloggers were already attacking the authenticity of the documents on which it was based. As everybody knows, the bloggers were right and CBS was wrong.

Anonymous commentators? Well, Bunker Mulligan is the name of this site. My name is easy enough to determine if you care to know. I kept my moniker because my boys were, and will again be in dangerous places. No need to provide free intel about them. I’d hardly consider Hindrocket anonymous. Actually, his name is probably far better known than Paul Burka’s, the author of this piece.

Paul Burka joined the staff of TEXAS MONTHLY one year after the magazine’s founding. A lifelong Texan, he was born in Galveston, graduated from Rice University with a B.A. in history, and received a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law.

Excuse me, Paul. I didn’t see any “media credentials” listed there except that you became a member of the staff. Does the janitor have media credentials, too? Sounds like your credentials and John Hinderaker’s are similar.

I like Texas Monthly. It’s similar to The New Yorker, only better. And geared toward the high-dollar folk in Houston and Dallas. They do throw a few bones our direction on occasion.

For those of you outside the Lone Star State, register and take a trial view. The access code this month is the name of a Texas city mentioned in the last paragraph. You’ll get a chance to read the last article before the next election by my candidate for governor, Kinky Friedman.

February 25, 2005

The price is worth it.

Filed under: Military — Bunker @ 5:23 pm

Joe Galloway has some words of wisdom.

It reminds us all that we need to be careful how we talk about the war in Iraq. Whether we approve or disapprove, we are obliged to cast the debate in terms that do not disparage the soldiers who risk everything serving our country, or cause pain to the widows and children who are left with an empty place in their hearts where a husband and a father once dwelled.

Joe has seen and been with men like Sergeant First Class David J. Salie in harm’s way.

Older Posts »

Powered by WordPress