FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

No Lie Left Behind

by JOHN L. HESS

Seems like wherever he goes these days, George Bush finds time to read to kiddies, and recite “Leave no child behind.” After eight years as governor, he left the children of Texas behind those of 48 other states. His solution was to withhold money from failing schools and give it to schools that did better — or at least taught them to pray

Somehow conservatives latched on to the slogan “Leave no child behind” because it sounded as if they cared, and because some educators favored what they called “social promotion” –that is, you don’t demote kids who are failing–you move them on to the next grade–but for god’s sake, you give them special attention — small classes, picked teachers, social workers, parent involvement, physical checkups, nutrition, music, art and fun and games.

That’s what Mayor Bloomberg left out when he laid down the law last Monday. It was a shocking moment in the history of our town. Bloomberg takes the opposite line to George Bush–says if kids flunk, they’ve got to be held back–but he comes out pretty much the same. In no time, Bloomberg fired his top educators and three commissioners who disagreed with him — and did it in the face of parents, teachers and civic leaders who had come to a hearing to disagree with him. It was a pre-emptive strike.

As a result, perhaps as many as 30 percent of third graders in New York figure to be left back this June–and you know in which communities they live. If Bloomberg has any plans for a fix, he hasn’t revealed them. Neither have the bosses of either party in New York, Albany and Washington.

No child left behind, indeed.

 

The Mess We’re In

We have just been through a week that would wipe the smirk off Bush’s face –if it were not for what the Daily Howler calls our “state-sponsored” media. For an example, his note on the Web today quotes the headlines on the last four White House Letters by Elisabeth Bumiller of the Mew York Times. Listen:

“Bush Ready and Bursting to Bring It On!” Then: “Want a Reliable President? Here’s One You Can Set Your Clock By” — Then–“Bush Glad to Be in the Campaign Fray” and, today “Bush on the Campaign Trail, Couched in Comfy Feathers.”

Remember how she cut John Kerry off–saying, “You’re in New York, now”? Well, she and the Times manage to be very polite indeed to Bush. Take yesterday’s disclosures by Richard Clarke, who was chief of counter-terrorism for our last four presidents. He tried and failed repeatedly to alert George Dubya and his team to plotting by Al Qaeda to attack us at home. Conceivably, they could have averted 9/11. Certainly, they lied about Saddam Hussein being involved in it. Clarke’s story is rich new evidence for impeachment The Times buried it on Page 18–under the byline of Judith Miller–that celebrated discoverer of weapons of mass destruction.

It’s not only the embedded media that lies in the way of impeachment. Before nightfall yesterday, Senators Biden and Lieberman were on the air, knocking the new revelations. Both have long records of lending Republicans a helping hand. And both are described as leading Democrats — which says a great deal about the mess we’re in.

JOHN L. HESS is a former writer for the New York Times, a career he chronicles in his excellent new book My Times: a Memoir of Dissent. Hess is now a political commentator for WBAI.

 

JOHN L. HESS is a former writer for the New York Times, a career he chronicles in his excellent new book My Times: a Memoir of Dissent. Hess is now a political commentator for WBAI.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

April 27, 2017
Darlene Dubuisson – Mark Schuller
“You Live Under Fear”: 50,000 Haitian People at Risk of Deportation
Karl Grossman
The Crash of Cassini and the Nuclearization of Space
Robert Hunziker
Venezuela Ablaze
John W. Whitehead
Trump’s America is a Constitution-Free Zone
Ron Jacobs
One Hundred Years That Shook the World
Judith Deutsch
Convenient Untruths About “Human Nature:” Can People Deal with Climate Change and Nuclear Weapons?
Don Fitz
Is Pope Francis the World’s Most Powerful Advocate for Climate Stability?
Thomas Mountain
Africa’s War Lord Queen: The Bloodstained Career of Liberia’s Eleanor Sirleaf Johnson
Binoy Kampmark
Short Choices: the French Presidential Elections
Paul C. Bermanzohn
Monetizing My Mouth
Michael Barker
Of Union Dreams and Nightmares: Cesar Chavez and Why Funding Matters
Elier Ramirez Cañedo
“Let Venezuela give me a way of serving her, she has in me a son.”
Paul Mobbs
Cellphones, WIFI and Cancer: Will Trump’s Budget Cuts Kill ‘Electrosmog’ Research?
Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee
The Closing of Rikers: a Survival Strategy of the Carceral State
April 26, 2017
Richard Moser
Empire Abroad, Empire At Home
Stan Cox
For Climate Justice, It’s the 33 Percent Who’ll Have to Pick Up the Tab
Paul Craig Roberts
The Looting Machine Called Capitalism
Lawrence Davidson
The Dilemma for Intelligence Agencies
Christy Rodgers
Remaining Animal
Joseph Natoli
Facts, Opinions, Tweets, Words
Mel Gurtov
No Exit? The NY Times and North Korea
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Women on the Move: Can Three Women and a Truck Quell the Tide of Sexual Violence and Domestic Abuse?
Michael J. Sainato
Trump’s Wikileaks Flip-Flop
Manuel E. Yepe
North Korea’s Antidote to the US
Kim C. Domenico
‘Courting Failure:’ the Key to Resistance is Ending Animacide
Barbara Nimri Aziz
The Legacy of Lynne Stewart, the People’s Lawyer
Andrew Stewart
The People vs. Bernie Sanders
Daniel Warner
“Vive La France, Vive La République” vs. “God Bless America”
April 25, 2017
Russell Mokhiber
It’s Impossible to Support Single-Payer and Defend Obamacare
Nozomi Hayase
Prosecution of Assange is Persecution of Free Speech
Robert Fisk
The Madder Trump Gets, the More Seriously the World Takes Him
Giles Longley-Cook
Trump the Gardener
Bill Quigley
Major Challenges of New Orleans Charter Schools Exposed at NAACP Hearing
Jack Random
Little Fingers and Big Egos
Stanley L. Cohen
Dissent on the Lower East Side: the Post-Political Condition
Stephen Cooper
Conscientious Justice-Loving Alabamians, Speak Up!
Michael J. Sainato
Did the NRA Play a Role in the Forcing the Resignation of Surgeon General?
David Swanson
The F-35 and the Incinerating Ski Slope
Binoy Kampmark
Mike Pence in Oz
Peter Paul Catterall
Green Nationalism? How the Far Right Could Learn to Love the Environment
George Wuerthner
Range Riders: Making Tom Sawyer Proud
Clancy Sigal
It’s the Pits: the Miner’s Blues
Robert K. Tan
Abe is Taking Japan Back to the Bad Old Fascism
April 24, 2017
Mike Whitney
Is Mad Dog Planning to Invade East Syria?    
John Steppling
Puritan Jackals
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail