Thursday, May 26, 2005

The Spellings Report: Middle Eastern Travelogue

What do many hard-working politicians do for a refreshing change of pace when one begins to find Washington to be a bit tiresome?

Why, everyone knows that they
take a government-paid overseas trip, stay in exotic locales, rub elbows with powerful counterparts from other nations, and meet the Queen:

U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings led the United States delegation to the first-ever meeting of education ministers from the countries of the G8 and the Broader Middle East and North Africa Initiative (BMENA), held at Dead Sea, Jordan from May 22 to 23.

In addition to the participation in the ministerial, Spellings met with Jordan's Queen Rania Al-Abdullah [pics here] and Minister of Education Khaled Toukan. During her trip, Spellings will visit the Iskan Al-Jamiaa Discovery School and a U.S. Agency for International Development (AID)-funded public kindergarten, and will meet with Junior Achievement graduates and early childhood education stakeholders.

Of course, a curious person might wish to ask Secretary of Education Spellings and First Lady Laura Bush (who also attended the junket conference) why is the United States Government spending taxpayers' money building schools for foreign students while many of our own campuses are in a sad state of disrepair. As a classroom teacher in a school that is in need of some serious maintenance, I would like to ask the Secretary that question myself.

But curious persons aren't usually allowed anywhere near exclusive Dead Sea spas. And I'm fairly certain that no classroom teachers are in the Secretary's entourage.

Instead, we get a series press releases from the U.S. embassy in Amman: here, here, and here.

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