Monday, October 09, 2006
A vote for Nussle is a vote for homework
I normally would not make any attempt at campaign ad analysis. I'll leave that one for the pros. However, a new Jim Nussle ad entitled Compete (on the Nussle website but not on YouTube™) must be an effective ad.
Today, my oldest saw the ad and immediately sent younger brother (the minion) upstairs to tell me that I cannot vote for Jim Nussle because he'll make school difficult and the teachers will assign more homework.
We're not a unique family, so I wonder how many other nervous adolescents and tweeners shot a quick glance at mom & dad, or mom, or dad when the ad came on TV worried that Nussle's message of tougher education standards and accountability will sway their parents to vote for Nussle. They’re smart to worry; Nussle’s plan could put an end to the excessive free time spent in front of a screen multi-click bludgeoning a digital character controlled by some other kid, usually from
I told the minion (younger brother) to tell his brother that I'm going to make up my mind based on issues with emphasis on rational economic thought (big hint). But the fact that my son is concerned about Jim Nussle's stand on homework is intriguing to me; the thought of having a governor working hard to burden the kid with another hour or two of homework every day sounds good -- healthy, yet twisted.
The bigger issue - IMO - is the type of "tougher standards" that Nussle wants to implement. At this point, Iowa is the only state in the nation that gives local school districts and school boards a fair measure of control when dealing with curriculum and coursework questions.
Most of the proposals floated about 'tougher standards' concentrate on taking that power away from local school districts and concentrating all curriculum decisions in Des Moines. (Iowa for the most part strikes a good balance - but could use more guidance from the Iowa Dept. of Ed and the state universities, however, not "decision power" when it comes to actually writing curriculum and defining approaches to teaching.)
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