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NCLB Outrages

Don't have a COW, man



No Child Left Behind is becoming No COW Left Behind.

No, not a moo cow. C.O.W. stands for Curriculum on Wheels. Lots of school districts, including Palm Beach County's, have bought the COWs using No Child Left Behind money. The tab in Palm Beach: $46,000, of which $38,400 was from the federal government.

A COW is a projector on wheels that has software loaded onto a hard drive. Press a button and it "teaches" students social studies or science or math. Well, maybe it does. The nonpartisan Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington says no study ever has demonstrated, to NCLB standards, that the COWs work.

The experience in Palm Beach County wasn't good. Spokesman Nat Harrington said that after trying a few units, "it wasn't something that we wanted to invest in."

So, the citizens organization has asked the federal Department of Education's inspector general to investigate whether political considerations are behind the COW sales. COWs are sold by a company called Ignite! Learning, which is run by none other than Neil Bush, President Bush's younger brother. U.S. taxpayers are familiar with Neil Bush, since they paid roughly $1.6 billion to bail out Silverado Savings & Loan, which failed in the 1980s. Neil Bush was a board member.

Neil Bush does not have a background in education. But he figures that since his brother has made the NCLB a sacred cow, he might as well treat it as a cash cow. The inspector general needs to look into the issue. Otherwise, Neil Bush will keep running this scheme until the cows come home.

— Editorial
Palm Beach Post


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