Sunday, November 27, 2005

Media Waking Up to CATS Story

Two full weeks after Kentucky Progress reported on the Bluegrass Institute's (BIPPS) dismantling of Kentucky's fraudulent school accountability program, the media is starting to report on the disturbing findings.

It is about time.

This is a clear-cut tale of government abuse of children. The Commonwealth Accountability Testing System (CATS) very simply allows manipulation of school testing results. Parents then have an erroneous picture of the quality of education provided to their children. This is indisputable.

It is clear that repairing this instance of firmly entrenched waste, fraud, and abuse will involve clearing out more of the status quo holders in Frankfort. Anyone who has driven by the Kentucky Department of Education headquarters in Frankfort during election season knows that they function as a subsidiary of the Democratic Party. Republicans in Frankfort would do very well to make the education lobby take responsibility for their malfeasance.

Yes, I said malfeasance. If you have any doubt, you need only look at the quote from the Kentucky Department of Education's Lisa Gross. Her analysis of the BIPPS 50 page report was a curt "There's a lot wrong with it."

Oh, really? Can Ms. Gross name one thing wrong with the report, other than the fact that it embarrasses the education establishment in the state? Her arrogant answer suggests that the KDE has been exposed and hopes to spin it and make it all into some Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. But get this: the Bluegrass Institute has challenged Kentucky's top education officials to a debate about testing issues. Now that is something I would like to see. The bureaucrats have, unsurprisingly, gone underground into their no-debate spider hole.

Will the media stick to this very real story with anything like the tenacity our children deserve?

Sure hope so. I mean, it has everything: big money, big power, disadvantaged children pushed out of sight and high-achieving children used as unwitting accomplices to cover up the fraud. I suppose if the school officials literally took to defecating on our children, it would make front page, live at 6:00 news everywhere. That is essentially what they are doing. It is disgusting.

Maybe we should tell them it is all Ernie Fletcher's fault. Then the reporters would be on it like ducks on a June bug.