Thursday, April 08, 2004

Know Bush Fact #19

Based on the belief that the truth shall set you free:

With many states rejecting Bush’s "No Child Left Behind Act," it is worth learning who benefits from it.

McGraw-Hill is the big winner. "President Bush knows students can succeed if they are using the best materials, proven lesson plans and textbooks aligned with state standards," says the NCLB website under "Investing in What Works."

McGraw-Hill happens to provide all the above materials, and more.

"Education President" Bush promotes Phonics as the best method for teaching reading. Two major phonics courses, "Direct Instruction" and "Open Court Reading," are both published by McGraw-Hill.

McGraw-Hill authors also wrote the official summary of the report of the National Reading Panel presented to explain No Child Left Behind to educators. However, there were important discrepancies between the original report of the National Reading Panel, and their summary.

To wit, the McGraw Hill summary, reviewing the "scientific research" of the NRP stated, "Systematic phonics instruction produces significant benefits for students in kindergarten through sixth grade." The actual NRP report stated, "There were insufficient data to draw any conclusions about the effects of phonics instruction with normally developing readers above first grade."

Apparently McGraw-Hill itself needs further tutoring in comprehensive reading.

Gerald Coles, author of Reading Lessons: The Debate Over Literacy, notes that with phonics, "To cure illiteracy, presumably all children need is a new set of textbooks."

Leading us back to McGraw Hill, textbook publisher.

McGraw-Hill also happens to produce the worksheets, standardized tests, the accountability system in charge of research, development, scoring, reporting, tracking, intervention programs, and the remedial initiatives that are now officially a part of the No Child Left Behind Act, as well as a new website as a school evaluation service.

In addition, McGraw-Hill goes far beyond basic publishing and education, with divisions specializing in homeland security, international investing, and consultation on outsourcing, serving "more than one million professionals within the $3.4 trillion global construction community" and more.

Not surprisingly, the McGraw family and the Bush family go way back, to the 1930's, when great-grandfather Prescott Bush vacationed with James McGraw, Jr at Jupiter Island, Florida, a haven for moneyed people from the Northeast. Through the years since, the back rubbing has been mutual: reflected in board memberships, awards, endorsements, keynote addresses, executive employment, presidential appointments, transition teams, ambassadorships, global marketing and the United Nations.

In March 2003, as the U.S. pre-emptively invaded Iraq, McGraw-Hill published Team Bush: Leadership Lessons from the Bush White House.

McGraw-Hill also published My Pet Goat.

To verify/research, Google "Bush +McGraw."

– April 8, 2004

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