Monday, February 28, 2005

"The flexibility [we have] given you"

I just noticed this from President Bush's speech to the National Governor's Association yesterday. Consider the italicized sentence in light of the previous post about the complexity of the national-state government relationship in education. Apparently, the president's a little tongue twisted and confused about this, too (which I know will come as a huge surprise to everyone: what?!? the president tripping over words?!?)

We want to work with you, as well, on education matters. And I want to thank Governor Warner for leading the charge for high standards coming out of high schools. It was an appropriate and important message. Some in Congress may want to try to undermine No Child Left Behind. Forget it, we're not going to let them do it, because it's working. And I want to thank you all for implementing No Child Left Behind; using the powers of the -- that the federal -- the flexibility the federal government has given you to achieve what we all want, which is an educated America. And the hopeful thing is, is that the achievement gap is closing in America. How do we know? Because we measure. So I want to congratulate you for the initial stages of making sure the education system works fully. And I look forward to working with the governors on implementing ideas about how to make sure the high school systems work.

"Using the powers of the -- that the federal -- the flexibility the federal government has give you..." He clearly started to say "using the powers of the federal government" but realized that wasn't right. He corrected it by saying "the flexibility the federal government has given you," which is a particularly ironic comment considering the outporing of complaints -- from conservatives and progressives alike -- about the lack of flexibility in NCLB.

Ah, but what do we in the "reality based community" know about anything anyway?

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