Thursday, September 03, 2009

Insane People

Yglesia writes:

Probably the biggest moral of the story is that the contemporary conservative movement is run by crazy people with no scruples, who’ll turn anything into a pretext to level wild accusations.

Thanks to Lexis Nexis, I found an article written by Thomas Ferraro of the AP in 1991 on Bush's speech to school children. Probably in violation of copyright law, I repost it here:

With reports showing American students lagging behind, President Bush challenged them in a televised address Tuesday to take responsibility for their own fate and hit the books.

''Education means the differences between a good future and a lousy one,'' said Bush, sitting before a camera in an eighth grade classroom at Alice Deal Junior High in the nation's capital.

The self-proclaimed ''Education President,'' criticized for paying inadequate attention to schools himself, delivered his pep talk a day after release of the latest in a series of studies on the grim state of American education.

The report found that the nation has a long way to go to reach president's education goals, which include making students No. 1 in the world in math and science by the year 2000.

The report by Bush's National Education Goals Panel showed that five of six eighth graders don't know enough math to move up to the ninth grade, and most have difficulty reading a newspaper.

Bush's address was beamed nationwide and the White House expressed hope that it was shown at virtually all of the country's 110,000 schools, which have a combined enrollment of 46.8 million.

Although students at Alice Deal Junior High, a magnet school in the city's fashionable northwest, gave Bush a big hand when he arrived, many were fidgeting by the time he finished his 12-minute speech.

The president spoke frankly.

''I can't understand for the life of me what's so great about being stupid,'' Bush said. He implored youngsters to ''block out the kids who think it's not cool to be smart'' and ''work harder, learn more.''

He said, ''Let's put it on the line. You've got the brains. Now put them to work. Not for me, but for you.''

Among Bush's six education goals for year 2000 is making schools safe and drug free. On Monday, for the fourth time in a month, there was a shooting at a Washington area high school.

''As a student, you have the right to be physically safe at school,'' Bush told students. ''Demand discipline. If good people chicken out, bad people take control.''

Bush has been accused by Democrats of focusing most of his attention on foreign policy at the expense of domestic concerns, including education.

Although the president's top education goal is making all children ''ready to learn'' by the time they start school, he has yet to seek full funding of the Head Start program.

Other education goals include: raising the high school graduation rate from 83 percent to 90 percent; obtaining 100 percent literacy among adults, and making students competent in all the basics.

Bush closed his address by saying, ''Let me leave you with a simple message: Every time you walk through that door, make it your mission to get a good education.''

He also asked students ''let me know how you are doing. Write me a letter about ways you can help us achieve our goals.''

Lucas Fleirscher, president of the school's 9th grade class, presented Bush with a sweatshirt inscribed with the message: ''A Child is a Terrible Thing to Waste.''

Please note that Bush asked kids to "Write me a letter about ways you can help us achieve our goals."

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