A statement by Mary Alice Herbert, Socialist Party Candidate for Vice President of the United States
14 March 2004
One of the goals of the Socialist Party-USA is providing free high quality public education from pre-school through college. We understand that it takes well-educated citizens to carry on the participatory democracy from below that we advocate. The Bush administration's top-down mandates for local schools, with their reliance on standardized tests are in opposition to the democratic student-centered classrooms we envision. No funds are allocated for school repairs or new construction, for adding teachers so that class sizes can be reduced, or, perhaps most importantly of all, to reduce or eliminate poverty.
We must seriously oppose the cruelly misnamed "No Child Left Behind" initiative, otherwise known as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The stated goals are that every student will make "Adequate Yearly Progress". For the students this involves yearly standardized testing and for the participating schools must show progress in 39 different areas. One of these is a low to zero dropout rate. The model for this national plan is the education system of Texas implemented there while Bush was governor...