Somehow it does not surprise me…

…that Jan Jarboe Russell was an acolyte of Molly Ivins:

The columnist Molly Ivins had it right: Perry is in fact Governor Good Hair, and that’s what Texans want. We want the caricature who tells us how exceptional we Texans are — not the realist who tells us that just because the Texas economy has fared better than most states, thanks largely to the high price of oil, the fact that, according to CNBC, we rank 30th in the U.S. in educating our workforce should wake us from our stupor of false superiority.

No doubt Russell thinks merely throwing more money at the schools and “not teaching to the TAKS test” is going to fix everything, just like Bill White does. Never mind, of course, that the TAKS test is a test of basic skills the students should be learning anyway. And never mind that Texas school districts have been shown to prefer to hire education majors (who don’t know basic grammar and who took Creative Writing but don’t have favorite authors because they don’t like to read) as teachers as opposed to those who go through the alternate teacher certification. And never mind that the districts make such decisions on the local level, as opposed to following some sort of edict from the governor. Oh, no, it’s all that EVIL BASTERD RICK PERRYS FAULT ZOMG!!!111one!!! (And yes, that misspelling and lack of apostrophe was completely intentional.) Why doesn’t JJR just go ahead and blame George W. Bush while she’s at it?



One Response to “Somehow it does not surprise me…”

  1. southtexaspistolero Says:

    Sabra (
    The teaching to the test thing got to me for the longest…And then I realized how much of my child’s day that SHOULD go into teaching her basic skills is instead devoted to absolute IDIOCY surrounding said skills. The only answer to “How do you know that 32 – 27 is 5?” should be “Because I’m not an idiot.” There is no subjectivity in math! Most of the methods currently used to teach that subject are expressly counterproductive to actually learning the subject (manipulatives, and also this idiocy of applying words and feelings to numbers), but they make some dim-witted Education major somewhere feel like she’s doing God’s work…
    October 31, 2010, 10:35:18 AM CDT – Like – Reply – Edit – Moderate

    BL (
    This struck me first:

    Texas is oil production is actually pretty low in comparison to when “oil was king” in Texas in the past. Federal offshore areas, lots of them off the CALIFORNIA coast outrank both Alaska and Texas in oil production and it therefore isn’t that big of a component of the Texas economy, whereas the tech sector is a much larger component than it used to be. When I was a little muppet you could go out to West Texas or work offshore and make piles of money, started at 10 bucks an hour and went up, when minimum wage was 2 bucks an hour. These days, starting oil production jobs in Texas start at 10-12 bucks an hour and don’t go up much at all compared to what you can make in the tech sector. Therefore, out of the gate, this writer showed she didn’t know her arse from an oil well hole in the ground. By her logic, California should be swimming in oil money, not broker than a broke d*ck dog.

    October 31, 2010, 1:58:35 PM CDT – Like – Reply – Edit – Moderate

    Kelly (
    On the “teaching to the test” subject… I think the existence of the test is a good thing. I think it’s an excellent idea to have a test that makes sure kid’s aren’t floating through the system and somehow not getting that basic education. The problem I saw in school was that they drilled us for the test when test time was coming around. The rest of the year, they may or may not actually be teaching us that stuff. A month before test time (and I know it wasn’t “the TAKS test” then, but it was another state-mandated standardized test) they started drilling facts with no context into our brains. Not teaching us history, but training us to match the name of a battle with a date, or the name of a general with a battle, and do it NOW because, “We need to see high scores on this test! We want our school to be in the top for the district!”

    I don’t recall them ever dumping the burden of “this is how funding is decided” on us, but I know we were told… more than one year, by more than one teacher… that the scores needed to be high because, “We want our school to be in the top for the district.”

    To this day, I can’t diagram a sentence. I was never taught how. But I know I was able to select the properly diagramed sentence from the choices on the test every year, because how to recognize the right answer had been drilled into me for weeks before taking it. That’s not learning.

    Like most things in life, I don’t think it’s something that anybody running for office has a good plan for fixing. An actual good plan wouldn’t fit into a campaign slogan. Or, it would, but “Raise your own crotchfruit — We’ll just teach them to read” doesn’t go over well with the voters.
    October 31, 2010, 2:21:54 PM CDT – Like – Reply – Edit – Moderate

    Sabra (
    The problem I saw in school was that they drilled us for the test when test time was coming around. The rest of the year, they may or may not actually be teaching us that stuff.

    Yup, but somehow the problem is perceived as the test and not the fact that these basic skills aren’t being taught.
    October 31, 2010, 6:25:33 PM CDT

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