Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Conservative Tool Jim Wooten on School Funding

The AJC's Jim Wooten gets ink in the Journal-Constitution at least three days a week. For me he usually seems as a Libertarian-oriented moaner and groaner. Still, his idea might cross the river, and indeed the battle may be fought in the states, so I'll join the discussion. As a teacher and critical thinker I hope I'm as qualified as Mr. Wooten.

Today his column is worthy of a link as it demonstrates how the GOP's Mighty Wurlitzer works. He tells us "More Money Won't Make Schools Better" and admittedly any educator knows that it is not simply funding. As his authority he simply serves up Jay P. Greene, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, as the author of an "important education reform book" published last year, "Education Myths". Green appeared recently before the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, an Atlanta think-tank. This is a group that is now tied to Townhall which is/was a project of The Heritage Foundation. Getting in a dig at "judical activism" to boot Mr. Wooton paints with a very broad brush. And tainted paint! Still he's hardly the only time Mr. Greene has gotten an audience. ABC's John Stossel had him help out with his 20/20 Special "Stupid In America" plus other "authorities" affiliated with The Cato Institute, American Enterprise Institute, etc. The AEI has been desribed as the leading neo-conservative group in the US. We know how well Iraq has been working out for the neo-cons so now they want to "save" education! Some of these "think tanks" have been described as "deep lobbying". Deep indeed! And Jim is showing that he is a "tool" of the tanks.

Here's a Kos Diary from DeweyCounts that seems a good response to begin. And there's this from EducationNews.org. Truly solving the many, many problems facing public education are complicated and I don't think I'll take time to attempt ... at least not yet! The Center for American Progress has some good starting ideas. As a bottomline, Jim Wooten's shilling is certainly not part of a serious solution and yet he influences policy with his "talking points" put to paper. Peace ... or War!