Publication Date: 2002-09-23
A+ Education Reform Act Extends Testing to the Unborn
Dateline: ATLANTA, GA
Governor Roy Barnes today announced his latest addition to the A+ Education Reform Act, extending testing to cover the unborn.
The new educational accountability standard, which will be introduced this legislative session, will require all pregnant women to undergo amniocentesis in the second trimester. Tests normally performed on the amniotic fluid will be combined with heavily modified versions of the Social Studies and Math portions of the state's Criterion-Referenced Competency Test. Although interventions are defined in the proposed change, ultimate failure of the new test, dubbed the ACRCT, will require the fetus to repeat the gestation period.
Reactions to the announcement were mixed.
Medical experts, along with conservative and liberal religious groups, questioned Barnes' role in changing the human gestation period. "If God knows what side His bread is buttered on", replied Barnes, "He'll support me on this - or else."
Some questioned the reliability and usefulness of the new test. Howie Cheatum, spokesperson for Harcourt Inc. (which will receive $72 million for scoring the ACRCT), said "Scoring mechanisms are pretty ambiguous, and we can make the results say anything Roy wants." Usefulness of the results was addressed in a 90 page document created by J. Alvin Wilbanks, who remains in stable condition at North Side Hospital after ingesting a large quantity of boot polish. The detailed report contained 89 blank pages, and one page which states "We get important information."
Others claim Barnes' plan doesn't go far enough. House minority leader Eric Johnson said "It is unacceptable to allow a fetus to remain in a failing mother's womb for 18 months or longer" and promised a voucher program to transplant the unborn into acceptable mothers. His REALLY-EarlyHOPE plan is expected to meet with considerable bi-partisan opposition.
CFOG (Concerned Fetuses of Georgia) vowed to fight the new legislation at every step.