FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

No Lie Left Behind

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.

 

More articles by:

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.

July 23, 2018
Pam Martens
Koch Industries Is Staffing Up with Voter Data Scientists to Tip the November Election to the Extreme Right
Binoy Kampmark
Ecuador’s Agenda: Squeezing and Surrendering Assange
Vijay Prashad
America’s Reporter: the Hersh Method
Colin Jenkins
Exposing the American Okie-Doke
Patrick Cockburn
What Boris Johnson Doesn’t Know About British History
Jack Random
Asylum Seekers in the 21st Century
Howard Lisnoff
How We Got Sold on Endless Wars
Ed Meek
Trump Has Taught Us Some Valuable Lessons About Executive Power
Myles Hoenig
Trump, the Mr. Magoo of American Diplomacy
Winslow Myers
The Mind Reels
Thomas Mountain
Ethiopia’s Peaceful Revolution
Weekend Edition
July 20, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Paul Atwood
Peace or Armageddon: Take Your Pick
Paul Street
No Liberal Rallies Yet for the Children of Yemen
Nick Pemberton
The Bipartisan War on Central and South American Women
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Are You Putin Me On?
Andrew Levine
Sovereignty: What Is It Good For? 
Brian Cloughley
The Trump/NATO Debacle and the Profit Motive
David Rosen
Trump’s Supreme Pick Escalates America’s War on Sex 
Melvin Goodman
Montenegro and the “Manchurian Candidate”
Salvador Rangel
“These Are Not Our Kids”: The Racial Capitalism of Caging Children at the Border
Matthew Stevenson
Going Home Again to Trump’s America
Louis Proyect
Jeremy Corbyn, Bernie Sanders and the Dilemmas of the Left
Patrick Cockburn
Iraqi Protests: “Bad Government, Bad Roads, Bad Weather, Bad People”
Robert Fantina
Has It Really Come to This?
Russell Mokhiber
Kristin Lawless on the Corporate Takeover of the American Kitchen
John W. Whitehead
It’s All Fake: Reality TV That Masquerades as American Politics
Patrick Bobilin
In Your Period Piece, I Would be the Help
Ramzy Baroud
The Massacre of Inn Din: How Rohingya Are Lynched and Held Responsible
Robert Fisk
How Weapons Made in Bosnia Fueled Syria’s Bleak Civil War
Gary Leupp
Trump’s Helsinki Press Conference and Public Disgrace
Josh Hoxie
Our Missing $10 Trillion
Martha Rosenberg
Pharma “Screening” Is a Ploy to Seize More Patients
Basav Sen
Brett Kavanaugh Would be a Disaster for the Climate
David Lau
The Origins of Local AFT 4400: a Profile of Julie Olsen Edwards
Rohullah Naderi
The Elusive Pursuit of Peace by Afghanistan
Binoy Kampmark
Shaking Establishments: The Ocasio-Cortez Effect
John Laforge
18 Protesters Cut Into German Air Base to Protest US Nuclear Weapons Deployment
Christopher Brauchli
Trump and the Swedish Question
Chia-Chia Wang
Local Police Shouldn’t Collaborate With ICE
Paul Lyons
YouTube’s Content ID – A Case Study
Jill Richardson
Soon You Won’t be Able to Use Food Stamps at Farmers’ Markets, But That’s Not the Half of It
Kevin MacKay
Climate Change is Proving Worse Than We Imagined, So Why Aren’t We Confronting its Root Cause?
Thomas Knapp
Elections: More than Half of Americans Believe Fairy Tales are Real
Ralph Nader
Warner Slack—Doctor for the People Forever
Lee Ballinger
Soccer, Baseball and Immigration
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail