CONGRESSIONAL ACCOUNTABILITY

As one who taught high school for ten years and college for forty-five years it is always amusing to read statements by government officials concerning the need to hold teachers “accountable” for the learning of their students. In the real world of American business or the armed forces there are a host of middle managers who evaluate employees and pass on recommendations to their superiors as to who should be retained or dismissed. It makes sense for someone with managerial responsibilities who assigns tasks and is in daily contact with those responsible for carrying out those tasks to evaluate success or failure. Congress and the Executive want teachers to be held accountable. Let’s look at the record of government:

1. Arne Duncan, current Secretary of Education never taught in a public school. Would we allow the Attorney General to be someone who lacks any legal experience?
2. Examine the current mess in Congress and pose the question: should those in Congress be held accountable for the lack of legislation or handling of major problems in American society? If not them, then who?
3. The Bush administration authorized the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan even though neither President Bush nor his vice-president had the slightest knowledge concerning the history of the Middle East, let alone that there was a difference between a Sunni and a Shiite Muslim.
4. Senator John McCain stumbled when asked about borders, he did not even know the border of Iraq or that of Iran.
5. Exactly what does Rand Paul or Ted Cruz actually know about the history of Libya, or the regime of former dictator Gadaffi,and who he recruited into his armed forces but they rant on and on.

How about requiring candidates for Congress to pass a test on American history that is formulated by the American Historical Association? A passing grade for this bunch could be 75%. I doubt if more than a handful would even get that grade!!