Orwell Award Announcement SusanOhanian.Org Home

Let's Ask the President To Step Up To the Test

Publication Date: 2004-01-07

Maybe it's time for a lot of people to prove competency on the tests required of the nation's children.

This letter below, appearing in the Jan. 4, 2003 Washington Post, rates special notice because of its commentary on the way the English language is butchered by Washington D. C. teachers. Hmmmm. The writer is irate about the way teachers speak. Has he heard the President lately?

Entire books are filled with examples of Presidential malaprops. See, for example, The Bush Dyslexicon by Mark Crispin Miller, Bushims, edited by Jacob Weisberg. The latest release is George W. Bushisms 2004 Day-To-Day Calendar, edited by Jacob Weisberg.

The letter writer wants D. C. teachers to pass the same standardized tests that students are asked to pass. Good idea. But how about starting out the top? Let's ask the President to step up to the test.

"I love the idea of a school in which people come to get educated and stay in the state in which they're educated."
--Waco Texas, August 13, 2002.

"The federal government and the state government must not fear programs who change lives, but must welcome those faith-based programs for the embetterment of mankind."
--Stockton, California, August 23, 2002

"Oftentimes, we live in a processed world--you know, people focus on the process and not results."
--Washington, D. C., May 29, 2003

"There's an old saying in Tennessee--I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee--that says, fool me once, shame on--shame on you. Fool me--you can't get fooled again."
--Nashville, Tennessee, September 17, 2003

"You've also got to measure in order to begin to effect change that's just more--when there's more than talk, there's just actual--a paradigm shift."
--Washington, D. C., July 1, 2003

Here's the letter:

Michael Casserly's Dec 26 op-ed column, "Fixing D.C.'s Failing Schools," espousing clear goals and accountability for schools, was spot on. After years of watching teachers stumble through the English language when interviewed on TV, I have another suggestion: How about holding the teachers accountable to the same standardized tests that the students are asked to pass?

Annual testing of principals, administrators and teachers (limited to their area of specialty, if necessary) might weed out teachers who are substandard or incompetent.

Similarly, tests for new teachers might aid in the selection process.


This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of education issues vital to a democracy. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information click here. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.