What makes me so mad about all this

This really isn't about education at all. It's one thing to deceive people about your record. It's another thing to, in light of those facts, continue to ignore the facts and continue mislead people. And to have zero to negative progress on your top issue in your 6 years as governor is unacceptable! 

#1: It's a trust issue

  • His campaign website has a list of accomplishments in education which all disappear under scrutiny
  • he deliberately did things to impede education, yet takes credit for the incredible gains
  • He takes credit for gains that completely defy common sense (the "unreal" gains in TAAS scores)
  • He's known about TAAS scores being bogus for a long time. Even the press widely reported it [Dallas Morning News, 8/17/99, 9/22/99, 4/30/99; Houston Chronicle, editorial, 8/8/95; U.S. News & World Report, 7/19/99]

  • He continues to try to deceive us by not acknowledging the facts: that, if you look at data from 1994 onwards, all the trusted independent data is consistent and shows no gains and a widening of the achievement gap
  • He must have known that the educational gains were bogus: the gains reported in TAAS were impossible large, and the independent data (available for over 2 years) showed nothing was happening. He had 2 years to figure this out. 
  • He has hired either incompetent or dishonest staff people around him. None of them figured it out either and publicly came out and said, "These numbers are cooked."
  • He ignored Haney's paper which pointed this out. He should have taken it seriously. He should have asked "who is right?"
  • He didn't come clean when he was caught when the the second RAND paper confirmed Haney's
  • He shouldn't attack a paper that has been peer reviewed on a timing issue
  • He couldn't explain how the reports could be consistent so he chose to take the report that favored him (and disagreed with other leading indicators)
  • He proposed three completely bogus explanations to try to hide from the truth using a smokescreen:
    • incomplete data: total bullshit. (See attacks)
    • timing of the report (See attacks)
    • disagrees with earlier report (See attacks)
  • He can't explain the other independent data that agrees with Klein
  • He needs to come clean about his record:
    • no progress
    • gap widened
    • serious declines in other areas
  • He has no right to brag about the superior performance of Blacks and Hispanics in Texas. It's been that way for a decade.

#2: It's a performance issue on his only major accomplishment (and on the top issue of his campaign)

  • The data shows there was no improvement and the gap widened

Therefore, we:

  • Can't trust what he says (as in the TAAS scores and see how I expose the rest of his claims on his website)
  • Can't trust him to deliver on his top priority (imagine how he'll do on lower priorities!)
  • Can't trust to acknowledge the truth overwhelming independent third party data showing there is no achievement under his term as governor

A personal note to Governor Bush

  • Start believing scientific data. Global warming is real, my friend. And your TAAS scores are crap. You'd have to be a moron not to see that. Every piece of trusted research and every independent score shows that.
  • Own up to the truth: you did nothing in Texas to brag about. Your top accomplishment is a "Texas Tall Tale" based on "fuzzy math"
  • Change your campaign slogan to: "George W. Bush: A Reformer Without Results." It's more accurate and would help your credibility.
  • Change your TV ad to: "I trust you, but you can't trust me." At least that way, it's more believable.
  • Change your campaign website to re-direct people to: http://www.georgebush2000.com. You'll be perceived as more honest when you let people know the educational accomplishments that you are most proud of, you know, stuff like:
    •  42% of students who enter a Texas public high school never receive a diploma and over half of those who are lost are Hispanic.  The dropout rate has increased by 9 percentage points since1985-1986
    • ...etc... (see Bush's  Education Stats)
  • Hire Molly Ivins as your new publicist. She can help you communicate clearly what is going on so you won't be misleading people. In the meantime, you can tell people to check out the BushFiles web site at http://www.bushfiles.com so that you'll portray an image of integrity.
  • And, finally, next time, if you are going to challenge a scientific study, challenge it with facts, not with bullshit obfuscations, ok? Read my document for instructions. Don't ever do that again. It makes me really mad when you do that. It's just not the right thing to do.

Steve Kirsch Political Home Page