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January 24, 2006

What a Bunch of Stiffs

This is a plan?

For the first time, the federal government would rate the academic rigor of U.S. high schools in a quietly added GOP-backed education program, a report said.

The academic rigor rating is part of a five-year, $3.75 billion education plan that Republican senators tucked into the budget bill last month and one the House of Representatives is expected to approve next month, The New York Times reported.

The Bush administration-backed plan would give grants of $750 to $1,300 to college freshmen and sophomores who have completed "a rigorous secondary school program of study."

The secretary of Education would define what constitutes a "rigorous" high school program

It sounds more like someone was getting a nickel for every time he could use 'rigor'* in a sentence. Reminds me of a line from one of my favoritest movies :
"You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

* "NOTE: 5b. rigidness or torpor of organs or tissue that prevents response to stimuli

Posted by tree hugging sister at January 24, 2006 10:09 AM


That is what AP tests and SATs are for. An "A" from a poor high school is worthless, and a "C" from a good one might translate into a "4" on an AP test.

Posted by: John at January 24, 2006 10:23 AM

I meant to add that this will create another worthless Federal educational bureacracy staffed with "educators" who never see a student. Just the place for incompetent teachers to run to in order to get out of the classroom and tell the competent ones what to do. I watched this process back in the late 80s when the local Boards of Ed started creating "testing specialists".

Posted by: John at January 24, 2006 10:26 AM

Oi. More bureaucrats. Just what we need.

Posted by: The_Real_JeffS at January 24, 2006 11:28 AM

Has anybody figured out WHICH bill this is, and WHERE it is in the political process? I'm being told that it has already gone through the Conference Committee (which means it is well-nigh predestined to pass), but I can't verify that yet. Any info?

Posted by: Scott W. Somerville at January 24, 2006 11:36 AM

The Republicans are getting very good at wasting their own time. If passed, they won't get any credit from the Democrats because the funding isn't high enough. And the small-government Republicans will be upset, too.

If a student has gone through what I consider a "rigorous" program, they will either get considerable scholarships elsewhere, or they'll be paying so much damn money that another drop in the bucket ain't gonna matter.

Besides, what good is $750 dollars? Part of a meal-plan? Half of that laptop that is almost universally required? The TV, futon, loft, microwave, mini-fridge, and stereo that show up in each dorm room? The first year's fraternity dues?

So yeah, it sounds like a great idea.

I hope they make it retroactive back to 1999, cause I got my eye on a home-kegging system.

Posted by: nobrainer at January 24, 2006 11:45 AM

NOTE: 5b. rigidness or torpor of organs or tissue that prevents response to stimuli."

Yup - you guys just described Congress.

Posted by: Nightfly at January 24, 2006 12:07 PM

I've finally tracked down this story, and there's a LOT more to it than the New York Times felt fit to print. I've got a post up at


Posted by: Scott W. Somerville at January 24, 2006 12:27 PM

More socialism, exactly what we spent more than a half century defending against.

Who said we won the cold war?

Posted by: Mike Rentner at January 24, 2006 01:12 PM

Scott raises a HUGE pet peeve of mine as a former legislative staffer: heaven forbid that journalists would ever mention actual bill numbers so their audience could, you know, actually DO SOMETHING about what's being reported.

Posted by: Dave J at January 24, 2006 02:25 PM

Dave, Put down the pajamas and step away from the blog! We can't have an informed citizenry running about, now can we?

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at January 24, 2006 02:32 PM