Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Words v. Deeds: Mike Rogers on Education

Today's Press & Argus has a story titled "Students communicate across the globe at Rogers-hosted forum." A World History class at Pinckney Community High School was able to have real-time conversations with students in Bilda, Algeria thanks to a very cool MSU program called E3LINK. The program is partnering with several schools in the state to develop cultural exchanges with Algerian students.

So other than the photo & story title, what did Mike Rogers have to do with this? Well, it seems that Rogers was in Algeria recently. While there in his capacity as IntelGuy, he took time out from his terrorist-fighting responsibilities and
learned Algerian high school students were communicating online with students in his district while traveling in Algeria last year on behalf of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee. [skip]
[Rogers] spent time with students while in Algeria, [and] said youth there are fascinated with Western culture, namely American students' access to technology at school and interests in music, film and fast food.
Translation? While boondoggling his way across North Africa, Rogers decided that a stop at a local high school was more fun -- and waaaay less dusty -- than tromping around talking to local intel guys.

Apparently, this program was already up and running by the time Rogers came across it. So how, exactly, did he "host" this chat? Did he bring the donuts? We know he brought a photographer...

This isn't the first time Mike Rogers has worked an angle and taken credit for someone else's efforts.

Even sadder is the fact that innovative educational programs like E3LINK have to fight for survival against legislators like Rogers, who has hardly been a champion of education:

* 17% rating from the NEA

* voted NO on additional $10.2B for federal education & HHS projects. (Nov 2007)

* Voted NO on $84 million in grants for Black and Hispanic colleges. (Mar 2006)
(stats from On The Issues)

There have been posts on this site about Rogers' lack of support for education; others (including Jack Lessenberry) have noted how Rogers maneuvered to shut college students out of voting where they go to school -- helpfully yanking all those Dem-voting MSU students out of the way during his first run for Congress.

Bottom line? Mike Rogers is once again taking credit for other people's work.