Opaqueness and Closed Government

Jay P. Greene’s Blog “Head Start Manipulating Scumbags” starts off with an excellent video clip that has more global applicability than just addressing Head Start.

Jay P. Greene says:

I should repeat that the researchers have done an excellent job evaluating Head Start in this case.  It is the bureaucratic class at the Department of Health and Human Services who have cynically manipulated, delayed, and misreported this research.  The pending report is already delayed several years and has been around for a long time.  The decision to release it on the Friday afternoon before Christmas is completely calculated.

Does this sound familiar to you—“cynically manipulated, delayed, and misreported this research”?  When the unsuspecting general public gets no other information, they tend to believe the information that has been sanitized and put through a government sieve and approved for public manipulation…   err, consumption.

With regard to Transparency and Open Government, President Obama says:

My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government.  We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.

Rather than build a bypass, our federal and state governments seem to want to bypass the public and only open public participation to those who won’t lie in front of the bulldozer.  Our governments have made it about as easy to find out about things like Common Core State Standards, the CCSS related assessments, Race to the Top, State Longitudinal Data Systems, and ESEA/NCLB reauthorization as Arthur Dent’s government made it for him to find out about the bypass.  The information may be available but it doesn’t inform the public if the public knows nothing about it to begin with or where to locate available information.

Beware the leopard!

In practice, does Transparency and Open Government really mean Opaqueness and Closed Government?  A quote from the Hitchhiker’s Guide is appropriate here, “Reality is frequently inaccurate”.

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