Thursday, March 8, 2012

Preempting Propaganda: Part I

Governor Daugaard will undoubtedly defend his horrendous merit pay and testing law that now faces a referendum effort.  If he follows the current Republican Governors' playbook, he will vehemently assert that those circulating petitions are "defending the status quo" or supporting the existing state of affairs which is less grand than it was in the halycon days of 1971.

A status quo does not magically spring up. Education policy is set by the governor and the legislature. Republicans have created South Dakota's education status quo.

Since 1971, South Dakota has had two Democrats serve as governor.  They both served in the 1970s.  Since 1980, Republicans have occupied the governor's mansion.  Since 1971, Democrats have had control of the House of Representatives from 1973-1976 and 1993-1994.

At the federal level, one must remember that testing became a good in and of itself when President George W. Bush, a Republican, implemented No Child Left Behind.

Governor Daugaard has not disavowed any of his predecessors; he is continuing increasing the testing regime put in place by a Republican.  In short his bill continues a status quo that he claims is failing.  (For now, we'll leave aside that little bit of propaganda that is asserted as fact but lacks evidence.)

Language matters and Daugaard should be held responsible for his Orwellian rhetoric as well as his disastrous legislation.

Related:  Dr. Newquist has a great post on how education used to deal with logical fallacies here.

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