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NCLB Outrages

Neil Bush Milks Cows

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 and cost 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 Rev. Sun Myung Moon, the Saudi Arabian oil company, millionaire businessmen from Kuwait, China, and Russia, as well as Daddy and Momma Bush. 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 buyng Neil's COWs. How charitable.

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

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— Jim Hightower and Phillip Frazer
Hightower Lowdown
2006-12-01


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