The White House is not Looking into the McChrystal Ball – lessons learned from Race to The Top

As it appears that General McChrystal’s “career dissipation light” might have gone off earlier today, I cannot help but wonder why the military officer corps has been allowed to run around being candid (or at least verbally abusing their civilian leadership in Rolling Stone). What if…

NCLB (re-named ESEA in order to take the negative connotations away) is adopted by the Army (NSLB – No Soldier Left Behind)

(June 22, 2010) “The war against terror has taken a new turn. Miltray budgets have been downsized significantly, leaving commanders in the field with fewer troops, dilapidated equipment, and sinking morale. Units that fail to have all subgroups of their soldiers (based upon gender, race, ethnicity, economic status and disability) pass a rigorous annual exam will be re-constituted.

Luckily, the Secretary of the Army has also adopted the Arne Duncan system of rewards in addition to the punishments. Units that perform to standard will be eligible for “Race to the Top” funds, further dividing the successful from the not successful (it is kind of like watching Harry Potter all over again, with the Sorting Hat). Those units at the very bottom of the barrel will also recive funds, so long as they sack their commanders and fire their staffs. Those caught in between will continue to slowly fall apart. ”

Here, Boy!

If the Army would be brought to heel like the educational establishment, we would not be seeing such outrage and impudence from the commanders in the field. Under an ESEA type system, they could not afford to berate their civilian handlers too much,  or else their bid for “Race to the Top” funds may find itself conveniently misplaced during the scoring. Name a state superintendent that has spit venom at Arnd Duncan, and I will show you a state that in these economic times is either looking for a new superintendent, or considers Sarah Palin a wussy liberal. Money just talks too loudly in this age for the voice of local control of education to want to be heard.

A Kick to the Shins(eki)

For those of you keeping score at home, this is not the first army leader to be sacked by the White House. As we awaitied our deployment to Iraq, it was a real hard pill to swallow when Rumsfeld kicked then Army Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki to the curb for insisting that there needed to be several hundred thousand troops in iraq to do thew job right. Shinseki by my accounting did so with tact and professionalism, out of a sense of duty to his fellow soldiers.  I am waiting still to hear about a state superintendent of schools (a DEMOCRAT) to go toe-to-toe with the White House over the fallacies of their approach to re-make American schooling. If George W. would have been enacting these same policies, you can bet that there would be boiling oil….maybe a spoonful of sugar (Democratis President)  makes the medicine go down easier….?


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