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NCLB Outrages

Neil Bush Milks Cows

by Jim Hightower

George W's "No Child Left Behind" program is being perverted into "No Bush Left Behind."
You might recall brother Neil Bush from his "Hi Yo Silverado" days, when he headed a Colorado S & L that went broke, costing us taxpayers a billion bucks to bail it out. Now, Neil is in the education game.

As honcho of an outfit called Ignite! Learning, he goes around to school districts hustling a computerized learning center dubbed COW, for Curriculum On Wheels. Made up to look like a purple cow, it's wheeled into classrooms where it uses jingles and cartoon videos to "teach" students. Each COW costs $3,800 and at least 13 school districts have used No Child Left Behind money to purchase them. That money is primarily intended to help disadvantaged kids learn reading and math yet, Neil's COWs don't teach either of these subjects. Curious.

Additional money to place COWs in various schools has come from such Republican stalwarts as Rev. Sun Myung Moon and such longtime Bush benefactors as the Saudi Arabian oil company.

Also, Neil's investors come from afar including millionaire businessmen from Kuwait, China, and Russia. Odd.

Both Daddy and Momma Bush are investors as well. Barbara is so committed to the enterprise that when she made a donation to help Hurricane Katrina evacuees who had moved to Houston, she required that all of the money be spent buying Neil's COWs. How charitable.

Ignite's ethics are also on display in a company video on its website. A Texas teacher named Lori gives a glowing testimonial about how COW did wonders for a young student named India. Only, Lori is really not India's teacher. She's Ignite's marketing director. Ignite says Lori was not lying... just role playing.

This is Jim Hightower saying... So is Neil. He's pretending that Ignite would be getting these federal dollars, investors, donations, and sales even if his name was, say, Neil Jones.

"Bush's family profits from 'No Child' Act," Los Angeles Times, October 22, 2006.

— Jim Hightower
Hightower Lowdown


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