Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Spellings Report: From Russia With Love!

Our globe-trotting EduCrat in chief is off on another sight-seeing junket official visit spreading more educational goodwill. This time, U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings is in Moscow, Russia, where she made some appropriate remarks:
I'm honored to be here in Russia with my G8 counterparts to discuss the importance of education and our shared challenge and responsibility to ensure our students are equipped with the skills they need to succeed in the 21st century. I also look forward to visiting with Russian and American students and educators on language initiatives and math and science education while in Moscow.

In today's global economy, math, science, and foreign language skills are the common currency everyone needs to succeed. And our education systems must keep pace with the times. I look forward to working together to improve education in all our nations and to foster new partnerships and exchanges in the future.
While Spellings meets and greets in Red Square, I wonder if she's aware of the sad fact that many schools (like this one) around the country have had to cancel their field trips due to the high cost of fuel?

For kids from less-advantaged socio-economic backgrounds, a school field trip may well be the only opportunity that they have to visit some far-off interesting place or historical site.

I doubt that Spellings even cares about any of that. After all, field trips aren't on the standardized tests that kids all over the country must take.

But of course unpleasant realities such as the need to cancel out-of-town travel due to rising fuel costs, the lack of funding in many districts for "extras," such as music and arts programs, as well as the very real feeling that there is a general belt-tightening all-across the EduWorld doesn't apply to ivory tower EduCrats such as Spellings and her pack of well-fed, office-dwelling, wouldn't-work-with-real-children-on-a-bet, minions.

At whatever level, be it federal or state, the denizens of the EduCracy always find a justification for cutting "extras" for other people's children. Just as long as those sacrifices don't apply to their own offspring or expense accounts.

Attn EduCrats and Academics: Those of you who would never actually consider working with kids should think about reading this great post by Alice in Eduland; it's an eye-opener.
Contributions for this week's edition of The Carnival Of Education (guest hosted this week by Education In Texas) are due tonight. Get submission info here; see our latest education-related entries over there.