Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Science And Technology Tuesday: The Spellings Report

Over at The United States Department of Education's website, they're announcing that Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings has just concluded the first meeting of The Academic Competitiveness Council. The meeting's focus was on science and math education. In the Secretary's own words:
"The Academic Competitiveness Council had a productive first meeting today at the White House, and I am honored to serve as the Chair of this Council, established by the Deficit Reduction Act, which President Bush signed into law on February 8th.

"President Bush reiterated in today's meeting what he said in the State of the Union, 'If we ensure that America's children succeed in life, they will ensure that America succeeds in the world.' Each Council member has a part to play in preparing students for the future.

"Currently, there are more than 200 programs that focus on math and science, spread across 13 agencies, all of whom were represented today. Our goal is to gauge effectiveness and better coordinate these programs. Over the next several months, we will be looking at the data to see what policies are working for students, and where we can use taxpayers' dollars more efficiently. One of the best ways to do that is to align programs with the principles of NCLB, focusing on accountability, assessment, scientifically based research, local control, and results for students.

"We must all work together to give students the math and science skills they need to compete and thrive."
The Deficit Reduction Act, signed into law by the President on February 8, 2006, included an Academic Competitiveness Council chaired by the Secretary of Education, and consisting of members of the Federal Government whose agencies have education programs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Its mission under law is to evaluate the effectiveness of each program, identifying areas of overlap and recommending ways to efficiently integrate and coordinate in the future. The Council will also ensure that these programs, especially those that focus on elementary and secondary education and teacher training, are aligned with the principles of No Child Left Behind.

I wonder how much that Council costs to operate and maintain? And is it an efficient use of taxpayers' dollars? Ms. Spellings seems so preoccupied with the "efficient use of taxpayer's dollars," that she should consider applying those principles of efficient management to her own expense account.

I'll say one thing about the titled nobility that inhabits the palaces and salons of Washington's EduCracy: They're sure efficient at generating mountains of paperwork and other mandates that we peasants actual classroom teachers who toil in the fields classroom have to contend with.
Entries to this week's edition of The Carnival Of Education are due tonight. Get details right here; see our latest posts over there.