Includes thoughts and comments about energy needs, resources, conservation and their relationship to politics at home and around the world.

Monday, March 26, 2007

A battle is brewing over the renewal of the No Child Left Behind Act. The National Education Association, read teachers' union, opposes renewal of the act. Central to their opposition is the issue of teacher performance measurement. How is it we can measure the performance of every other worker and professional in the country, but for some reason you can't measure the performance of teachers? Nonsense.

Were I a teacher I would appreciate having my performance measured against reasonable mutually acceptable standards. I would be interested in knowing how well my students progressed over the period they were in my class. I would like to know where they stood in the subject matter coming in and at interim points during the term. Interim testing would soon differentiate the solid students from those in need of special help which I would gladly give them. Higher term-ending test results compared to what the students did on incoming tests would be a strong indicator of my performance.

Opponents of teacher performance measurement claim there are certain subjects that don't lend themselves to quantifiable measurement. I don't know what subjects they have in mind, but whatever they are I bet I could come up with reasonable perforrmance standards for them. Anything that defies measurement probably has little value in the first place.

Meanwhile, emergency appropriations bills covering the war in Iraq have now been passed by both houses of Congress. Both bills are loaded with non-related items, the Senate bill containing some $4 billion worth, designed to hurt Bush if he vetoes the final compromise bill which he says he will do in any case. It's a measure of how desparate the Democrats really are.

I have no doubt that most Americans want us to get out of Iraq, but it must not be done according to a timeline set by Congress. If there is a timeline it should be set by the Department of Defense and remain in the hands of the military. Under no circumstances should it be announced to the world. Those who want to publicize a timeline don't understand the conduct of warfare especially against a scattered enemy waiting for us to pull out.

I believe progress is being made in Iraq but a biased media doesn't want to publize it because it would be contrary to their Hate-Bush, Hate-America agenda. When we do begin to pull out some day, it should be a phased process. Combat ready forces should be kept in place in neighboring Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Our Navy should keep combat ready vessels closeby as well and, of course, the Air Force should be prepared to strike at a moment's notice.


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