Margaret Spellings

Margaret Spellings is right: HB2 needs to go

It's a bigoted anchor around our necks:

“Our competitors have used this issue against us to some extent,” Spellings said in an interview with the Associated Press. “If I’m in Georgia and I’m in a competitive bidding war for a world-class faculty member, I’m going to say if this is a transgender or gay person, ‘Is this an environment where you’re going to live and work?’ So I think anecdotally there’s some of that going on.” Do you think?

Spellings is signaling the obvious. As long as North Carolina is a place that enshrines discrimination in its laws – and that is precisely what HB2 does – it will not be able to keep pace with other top-notch public and private colleges and universities. When the General Assembly gets down to work Wednesday, Senate boss Berger and House Speaker Moore need to immediately bring complete repeal of HB2, no strings attached, to the floor for a vote. Gov. Roy Cooper says there are enough Republican and Democratic votes in both houses to prevail.

I'm not sure they're capable of passing a bill with no strings attached, with no poison pills dropped in it to dissolve into ambiguous but deadly verbiage. But we'll see.

UNC Board of Governors vows to listen, do nothing

Or at least some of them will listen:

A handful of the 32-member governing board's members will listen to up to an hour of public comments following each regular meeting, starting Friday. Speakers will be required to sign in.

"I think it would be an outlet for those people who have been protesting and want to come and have a reasoned comment for us," UNC Board of Governors Chairman Louis Bissette said in a conference call with reporters. "The session is for us to hear from the public, not to respond to demands or engage in any sort of debate. So you will see we will be in full listening mode."

Bolding mine, pretty much all you need to know. It appears logic and reasoning aren't included in Chairman Bissette's repertoire of rhetoric. If they were, he would realize "full listening mode" would require the attendance of all voting members of the Board. Being the top dog in an academic setting is hard work, especially if you'd rather be cooking up ways to entice investors into turning over their cash. Also, isn't he supposed to be skilled at dispute resolution? Apparently those are hidden skills, only to be brought out when profit$ are available.

On Margaret Spellings and the persistence of failed education policies

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There is a method to their madness:

During the rising calls for bureaucratic education reform, revamping teacher evaluations and pay, and the Wisconsin teacher protests, former Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings (2011) weighed in about reauthorizing NCLB: “However, any new law must be a step toward stronger, more precise accountability.” And her audacity here is even bolder than what the new reformers have been perpetuating through film and popular media.

The first thing that everybody needs to understand: These folks aren't just trying to get their grubby hands on all those education dollars. There is a more fundamental (and dangerous) drive than mere greed, and it revolves around absolute power:

A history lesson about Margaret Spellings

She wants people to get to know her, so let's do that:

The U.S. Education Department certainly found this to be the case in 2004, when reviewers there wrote a scathing report about how the corporate bosses at the University of Phoenix pressure and intimidate their recruiters to put "asses in the classes," including those of unqualified students.

Meanwhile, a commission, appointed by Education Secretary Margaret Spellings, to critique higher education singled out for-profit colleges for praise, without acknowledging the serious charges that have been leveled against some of these companies.

This article was written in early 2007, and the formal complaints and lawsuits dealing with the University of Phoenix were already legion. But Margaret Spellings didn't just want to boost for-profit colleges, she wanted to radically alter the way the Federal government managed higher ed, and awarded tuition assistance:

Spellings making changes based on report funded by anonymous donor

So much for transparency and collaboration:

“We need the right structure and the right people doing the right things,” Spellings said. “We must break down silos and encourage collaboration, transparency and effectiveness.” A $1.1 million study by the Boston Consulting Group is analyzing the university system’s staff organization and will have a final report in the coming weeks.

A preliminary update on the report, which was funded by an anonymous donor, on Friday showed 15 general recommendations, including expansion of external affairs, a lean strategy and policy unit, and a strengthened data and analytics function.

This is a public University System, built with literally billions of taxpayer dollars, and we're supposed to be meekly satisfied this anonymous donor has the best interests of tens of thousands of students and a healthy chunk of our annual budget in mind? Either the name of the donor or the specifics of the contract (what the donor asked for), or both, need to be made public immediately. I'm also not sure it's a coincidence that Art Pope is in California testifying on the need to shelter Koch donors from public scrutiny, especially considering his history of attempting to manipulate UNC System curricula.

Misspellings

The installation of a partisan hack as president of the UNC system may finally be the wake-up call students and faculty need to get off their collective asses and raise holy hell. Cut from the same piece of rotten wood as DHHS head Aldona Wos, Margaret Spelling promises to finally dismantle an institution that has served our state well for generations.

Brad Miller on Margaret Spellings: Blast from the past

BlueNC has been around long enough to have witnessed plenty of political shenanigans. The post below, written by then Congressman Brad Miller in July, 2006, points out a pattern of deception on the part of Margaret Spellings that we cannot lose sight of. As you may know, Spellings is under consideration to be the president of UNC. Her history of obfuscation will no doubt serve her well.

James

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The Bush Administration works through the stages of grief

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