Saturday, September 5

Anderson Cooper Destroys Jim Greer on Obama's School Speech

Crossposted from Dailykos

So Obama had the temerity to want to speek to our school children and try and encourage them to Stay In School - naturally Republicans have to criticize and claim his trying to "Indoctrinate our Kids into his Liberal/Socialist Agenda!" But, y'know it's not like about Politics or anything.

Yeah, it's not like President Bush didn't try to do anything like this when he spoke to School Children about his Agenda for School Reform (ie. No Child Left Behind)

Or that anyone demanded prior approval of "My Pet Goat!"

Transcript -

JIM GREER, CHAIRMAN, REPUBLICAN PARTY OF FLORIDA: Well, first of all, Anderson, I think the speech Tuesday will be significantly different than the one he was going to give 48 hours ago. The lesson plans he sent out...

COOPER: Whoa. We'll talk about the lesson plan in a second, but the actual speech. You have no evidence of what he was actually going to talk about.

GREER: Well, I will tell you and it does tie in with the lesson plans because that's what started everything. When the lessons plans talk about writing about how we can help President Obama, talk about his new ideas, talk about what he's done since he has become president and what makes you admire him and the initiatives he's put forth, that, to me, is an indication that his speech Tuesday was going to somehow talk about public policy issues. When you ask students to talk about how they can help him versus how he can help them.

COOPER: But before making this announcement in which you basically say that he's going to speak about all these things, I mean, just factually speaking, you had no facts to make that statement.

GREER: Well, I believe the facts were in the lesson plans that as a parent I should be concerned about what he's going to say. He's been very vocal, very aggressive about what his vision of America is not only today but in the future.

And based on these lesson plans I wanted to make sure that my children, as I believe most parents around this country would believe, should not be exposed to his vision without their consent.


GREER: And their ability to take a look at what he's going to say.

COOPER: Just so I'm accurate, though, you did not see an advance copy of the speech, did you?

GREER: No, until just...


COOPER: Jim, did you object -- President Bush -- I want to play our viewers what President Bush said in front of school children when he talked to kids about No Child Left Behind. Let's play that.


GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Any attempt to roll back the accountability in Washington, D.C., will be- -- I'll fight any attempt to do that. Just not going to let it happen.


COOPER: So that's in front of the kids. Did you -- did you object to that at the time, Mr. Greer?

Ok, so Bush made a speech to kids to advocate his policy agenda of No Child Left Behind.

Greer claim - "Well, he didn't distribute a lesson plan that asked children to write how they can Help the President?"

Maybe he did, and maybe he didn't (although chances are He Did since the people would have been in the Dept of Education then are probably the same people now and probably wrote that kind of lesson plan out of habit)

But we do know that the Bush Administration Bribed conservative columnist Armstrong Williams with $240,000 to promote "No Child Left Behind", and that Bush did leave behind where we can go back through the memory hole and see what else he did.

Like this statement at the Waldorf Astoria President Bush gave in support of his call to Reauthorize No Child Left Behind. It even has Video of Bush making his statement with a crowd of children surrounding him.

Bush: Last week the school system here in New York City received the Broad Prize for Urban Education. This is one of the most prestigious education prizes in the country. The award is given every year to large urban school districts that have shown the greatest overall performance and improvement in student achievement, while narrowing the achievement gap amongst poor and minority students.

In bestowing this recognition on New York City, the Broad Prize Committee highlighted the city's strong leadership. And that starts with Mayor Mike Bloomberg. The Mayor is a no-nonsense guy who understands that if you set a goal, you expect to see results in achieving that goal. He knows how to ask tough questions and he's pretty good about moving aside bureaucracy that will inhibit the people he has selected to achieve the goal. The person he selected to be the chancellor is Joel Klein, who really is one of the country's finest school superintendents.

I also believe that part of the reason why New York City did well is because of the No Child Left Behind Act, which raises standards, insists upon accountability in the schools all across our country. The No Child Left Behind Act is working. I say that because the Nation's Report Card says it's working. Scores are improving, in some instances hitting all-time highs. Children across America are learning. The achievement gap that has long punished underprivileged students is beginning to close. And I'm going to spend a little time talking about that today.

Yeah, it's not like Bush tried to push his radical Right-Wing Agenda on our kids or anything.

Oh by the way ScienceDaily has a slightly different take on NCLB.

The study shows as schools came under the accountability system, which uses student test scores to rate schools and reward or discipline principals, massive numbers of students left the school system. The exit of low-achieving students created the appearance of rising test scores and of a narrowing of the achievement gap between white and minority students, thus increasing the schools' ratings.

This study has serious implications for the nation's schools under the NCLB law. It finds that the higher the stakes and the longer such an accountability system governs schools, the more school personnel view students not as children to educate but as potential liabilities or assets for their school's performance indicators, their own careers or their school's funding.

The study shows a strong relationship between the increasing number of dropouts and school's rising accountability ratings, finding that:

* Losses of low-achieving students help raise school ratings under the accountability system.
* The accountability system allows principals to hold back students who are deemed at risk of reducing the school's scores; many students retained this way end up dropping out.
* The test scores grouped by race single out the low-achieving students in these subgroups as potential liabilities to the school ratings, increasing incentives for school administrators to allow those students to quietly exit the system.
* The accountability system's zero tolerance rules for attendance and behavior, which put youth into the court system for minor offenses and absences, alienate students and increase the likelihood they will drop out.

Talk about your "Rationing" - shouldn't we call these the "Dumb Panels"?

So what was President Barack Obama going to speak to students about again? "Staying In School?" Coincidence? I think not.


Update: Turns out I was right - Geeb did present a Lesson Plan Too. H/t Comments

* The lesson will begin with the students exploring the biographies of the President, Mrs. Bush, Vice President, and Mrs. Cheney.
* The class will identify examples of elements found in a biography.
* Once students have identified the elements, a classroom chart listing the characteristics will be created.

Extension Activity One
The teacher will lead the class in distinguishing between 'biography' and 'autobiography'. The students will create their autobiography utilizing the elements identified on the classroom chart.

Extension Activity Two
Students will select and read a biography/autobiography of a famous American. Biographies of presidents are available at Biographies of first ladies are available at

Parent's Guide

After your child explores the biographies of the President, Mrs. Bush, Vice President, and Mrs. Cheney, use the following example questions to extend his/her thinking:

* What are some examples of elements you found in the biographies?
* Where did the President (Mrs. Bush, the Vice President or Mrs. Cheney) attend elementary school? Why is completing elementary school important?
* Name a children's book mentioned on one of the biographies. Why is it important to read?
* The word 'biography' means the story of a person's life. What do you think 'autobiography' means?
* If someone wanted to write a biography about you, what would you want them to include?

And now a little interlude from some friends of mine (known Vernon for almost 20 years) Cult of Personality Anyone?


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