"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Bill Bennett and School Privatization

This from TPM Cafe today:

A true story about Bill Bennett

By Reed Hundt | bio

From: Politics

When I was chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (1993-97), I asked Bill Bennett to visit my office so that I could ask him for help in seeking legislation that would pay for internet access in all classrooms and libraries in the country. Eventually Senators Olympia Snowe and Jay Rockefeller, with the White House leadership of President Clinton and Vice President Gore, put that provision in the Telecommunications Law of 1996, and today nearly 90% of all classrooms and libraries do have such access. The schools covered were public and private. So far the federal funding (actually collected from everyone as part of the phone bill) has been matched more or less equally with school district funding to total about $20 billion over the last seven years. More than 90% of all teachers praise the impact of such technology on their work. At any rate, since Mr. Bennett had been Secretary of Education I asked him to support the bill in the crucial stage when we needed Republican allies. He told me he would not help, because he did not want public schools to obtain new funding, new capability, new tools for success. He wanted them, he said, to fail so that they could be replaced with vouchers,charter schools, religious schools, and other forms of private education. Well, I thought, at least he's candid about his true views. The key Senate committee voted almost on party lines on the bill, all D's for and all R's against, except one -- Olympia Snowe. Her support provided the margin of victory. On the House side, Speaker Gingrich made sure the provision was not in the companion bill, but in conference again Senators Snowe and Rockefeller, with White House support, made the difference. The Internet has been the first technology made available to students in poorly funded schools at about the same time and in about the same way as to students in well funded schools.

Oct 01, 2005 -- 10:53:29 AM EST

1 comment:

  1. So we're discussing what Bill Bennett said and people are, you know,
    through their various stages of shock and outrage, whatever it is, and
    people are, I'm sure, having their own thoughts about this. The thing that
    amazes me is, we all get caught up in words and what people say and get
    righteously indignant. "How dare that person say that! Who do you think they
    are?" Of course, it's all within these confines of political correctness.
    Okay. So Bennett is having a theoretical, philosophical discussion with a
    caller about abortion, and the caller is making the point that, "Hey, you
    know, if all these kids that have been aborted in the last 30 years had not
    been and had been born, a good number of them would have become productive
    members of society. They would have become taxpayers. We would have had that
    much more money in the federal treasury and we might be not having a Social
    Security problem or anything else," and Bennett said, you know, you can go
    so many ways on that and it gets tricky. You can talk if you abort here, if
    you don't abort there, but that's not the way to talk about abortion. We've
    got to talk about it on the issue of morality. It's life. It's wrong to
    abort innocent life, pure and simple.

    He's just following the lead of his caller and in the midst of his answer
    to the caller, he said, "Well, you know, it's true, if you aborted every
    black baby, you'd reduce the crime rate." He said, "That would be crazy,
    it's reprehensible, morally indefensible. It's silly." You don't go there.
    There's shock and outrage. "How dare he say that? How dare he say it?" Who
    cares what anybody says? It's only political correctness that's gotten into
    this place. What about those who are doing that, folks? What about those who
    are doing it? Is talking about abortion, regardless what's said about it,
    worse than the act itself? Where's the equal condemnation here? How in the
    world are we going to sit around and get all worked up and bent out of sorts
    over words, when abortion is happening to the tune of 1.3 million a year and
    has been for 30 years? Planned Parenthood? Many of you think it's a grand
    organization, very worthwhile, doing great work. Margaret Sanger, founder of
    Planned Parenthood, called for the sterilization of "genetically inferior
    races" in 1939. Who was she talking about? You don't have to ask. I'll tell
    you. In 1939, she organized the Negro Project, and wrote, "The poorer areas,
    particularly in the South, are producing alarmingly more than their share of
    future generations," hence, she called for the sterilization of "genetically
    inferior races." Margaret Sanger was the founder of the National Birth
    Control League, now known as Planned Parenthood.

    She was an advocate of eugenics, improving human population by control of
    hereditary factors in reproduction. There was a big eugenics movement in
    this country back in this era, in the '30s and they wanted to pick who could
    "mate." They wanted to determine who could have children and who couldn't,
    and it was based on IQ and a number of other things. They didn't want to
    mess around with all these inferior races and inferior groups and inferior
    intellects mass producing out there and creating a bunch of idiots that were
    going to live off the federal dime or whatever. Now, you can't even say this
    about Margaret Sanger anymore. Planned Parenthood says, "You are
    misrepresenting what our founders said!" No, I'm not. Take a look at it.
    Now, I'm not saying that the Planned Parenthood movement today is a carbon
    copy of Margaret Sanger's ideas, but we do know that Planned Parenthood's
    primary objective in life is to abort as many babies as possible regardless
    of the color. Now, you tell me, folks, where is the sense here in getting
    all upset over the words uttered by somebody -- when they're taken out of
    context when you first hear about them; hat's the only way you about them
    and they're taken out of context -- you get all upset. "I can't believe
    anybody would say that." Well, I frankly can't believe anybody, like a
    doctor in Arkansas, would actually ask black evacuees from Hurricane Katrina
    to come to his office for abortions. Where is our sense of proportion here?
    Like I say, I'm through going on the defensive with these bunch of people
    who claim to be superior and morally and intellectually above everybody
    else. They're the elites?