The Game


This quotation comes from the Atlantic City Press report on the governor’s proposals for change in New Jersey’s educational funding:

Acting Education Commissioner Chris Cerf, in an Education Funding Report that accompanied the state aid figures, questioned whether the state investment in its poorest students has paid off, noting the achievement gap that still remains between test scores of low-income and minority students and their more-advantaged peers.

Here’s the political game. Pretend the schools can close the gap created by poverty simply by raising test scores. Give the schools some extra money to raise those scores, pretending all the while that such superficial “success” would actually accomplish something worthwhile. When it doesn’t work (it can’t), blame the schools and say that money won’t cure the problem, thereby implying that the problem lies in the schools and in the poor themselves (your political base already believes both, anyway). Then give the money back to the affluent to strengthen your favor with the base.

Here’s the article.