For the Record

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Offering a grammar lesson guaranteed to make any English teacher cringe, President George W. Bush told a group of New York school kids on Wednesday: “Childrens do learn.”

Original DVD cover.

During his first presidential campaign, Bush — who promised to be the “education president” — once asked: “Is our children learning?”

On Wednesday, Bush seemed to answer his own question with the same kind of grammatical twist.

“As yesterday’s positive report card shows, childrens do learn when standards are high and results are measured,” he said.

The White House opted to clean up Bush’s diction in the official transcript.


Just a day earlier, the White House inadvertently showed how it tries to prevent Bush from making even more slips of the tongue than he already does.

As Bush addressed the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday, a marked-up draft of his speech briefly popped up on the U.N. Web site, complete with a phonetic pronunciation guide to get him past troublesome names of countries and world leaders.

Don’t worry kids, spokesmodel Press Secretary Dana Perino has everything under control! From The Swamp at the Chicago Tribune:

The White House said today it will be sure to clean up the official transcript of the comment which President Bush made yesterday about education: “Childrens do learn.’’

The problem is that White House stenographers got it wrong. The transcript reported it as “Children do learn.’’

Yeah, blame the stenographers.

“We checked into that,’’ Press Secretary Dana Perino said at the White House today. “That was not something that anyone in the press office or communication office or anyone in the White House asked for. It was… done at the stenographers office, and we asked for it to be changed back.

“You know, the president — it is no secret — sometimes makes grammatical errors,’’ she added. “And he also is somebody, though, that gives a lot of public comments. And I think in the grand scheme of things, if any of us were — well, maybe now I am — monitored for such things, that we would all have slip-ups from time to time.

Excuse me, Dana, but that should be who, not that. Somebody who gives a lot of public comments.

“The point is he was very proud of the record that the — the test scores that the students achieved,’’ Perino said, adding: “The integrity of the transcripts are very important to me and I’ve made that clear.’’

Excuse me once again, but that should be, “the integrity of the transcripts is very important….” Integrity is singular. Damn those fucking stenographers for forcing you to make those verbal mistakes!!!

Oh, just one more thing. How is No Child Left Behind (NCLB) really doing?

From the Washington Post:

His latest misstatement masked a serious issue, of course. As Bush’s first-term No Child Left Behind law comes up for reauthorization, many in Congress are attacking it from both the left and the right. The president is trying to preserve what he sees as one of his most significant domestic achievements, an effort to increase accountability through rigorous standardized testing. The latest report card released by the National Assessment of Educational Progress gave him some ammunition.

“The No Child Left Behind Act is working,” Bush said with first lady Laura Bush, Education Secretary Margaret Spellings, New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (I) and Schools Chancellor Joel Klein at his side. “I say that because the nation’s report card says it’s working. Scores are improving, in some instances hitting all-time highs.”

Bush said that lawmakers should pay attention and not mess with success. “My call to the Congress is: Don’t water down this good law,” he said. “Don’t go backwards when it comes to educational excellence. Don’t roll back accountability. We’ve come too far to turn back.”

Others offered a more measured assessment. “Unfortunately, this administration has dropped the ball on education reform by shortchanging this law to the tune of $56 billion since its enactment,” said Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), chairman of the Senate education committee. He vowed “to provide the solutions and the resources needed to ensure that students and schools can succeed.”

The test results released Tuesday are not the ones used under No Child Left Behind, but the administration said that they show the progress since the law was passed with bipartisan support. Math scores improved among fourth- and eighth-graders, and black and Hispanic students made gains, although they still trailed their white counterparts. Eighth-grade reading scores, on the other hand, have not changed much since 1998.

Education specialists are divided on whether the federal law has succeeded in raising achievement for all students or in narrowing the historic achievement gaps between demographic groups. Passage rates are rising on many tests given to satisfy the law, including those in Maryland, Virginia and the District. The gap between white and black students is shrinking in some places.

But some scholars do not credit the education law. NAEP scores, for example, rose in some states and fell in others, and the general upward trend began well before No Child Left Behind. “My general view of this is that the president has been serially dishonest in claiming that No Child is accomplishing its mission,” said Bruce Fuller, a professor of education and public policy at the University of California at Berkeley.

(Emphasis added)

So, the test results releases are not the ones used under NCLB, but they indicate conclusively that NCLB is working? Well, no big deal. We can all rest easy knowing that they made those damned stenographers fix the s on that transcript. I think that shows that Dana Perino am learning!


Filed under Chimpy, Dana Perino, Edward Kennedy, George W. Bush, humor, Margaret Spellings, Michael Bloomberg, movies, NCLB, No Child Left Behind, parody, snark

14 responses to “For the Record

  1. gottagrip

    Is our childrens learning? I think not. Not unless you think that turning out a bunch of automatons who don’t understand the world around them is learning. Most kids can’t tell you who the President is, or the Governor of their state. They can’t pick their state out of a map of the U.S. Not much learning going on there.

    School was much different when I was a kid. The goal was to make you a well rounded individual, capable of intelligent thought. Now the goal is to train you for a job in a tech industry, no other knowledge needs to enter the equation. No one cares is they can read, what would they need that for? And none of them can add. Even the cash registers these days have pictures of the merchandise, no numbers. If you hand them an extra penny to make for easier change distribution they look at you like you’ve handed them a turd.

    Oh, well. At least we know that childrens do learn. Bush said so…..

  2. nonnie9999

    hey, ease off on the kids not being able to find places on maps. miss teen south carolina explained that whole thing:

    your assessment of edumacation is correct, but you left out a couple of things. those with wealth will get the finest edumacations for their offspring. that’s how paris hilton got so smart. however, the unwashed masses will have to hope and pray that their kids take it upon themselves to learn what the schools are not teaching them.
    you also forgot that, along with their aims to get kids ready to work in low-paying jobs, they also want to get prayer back into the schools. push the cult mentality so that they don’t question anything they are told by the authoritarian presence. that pays for itself in rethuglican primaries.

  3. nightowl724

    Well, I’m here… I’m still recovering from a total meltdown of my C: drive last night!

    Anyway… Nonnie, you had me at the title yesterday – “Ebony and Apathy.” Great stuff then and now!

    Speaking of titles, “No Child LEFT BEHIND” has given me the creeps from Day One:

    NYT on the “Left Behind” series:

    I am certain that the name of Bush’s “legacy program for education” is no coincidence. Besides. it’s an oxymoron (emphasis on the “moron” part, of course) to have the words “Bush” and “education” in the same phrase!

    Bush’s Yale transcript:

    I have to get back now to cleaning up after the Apocalypse on my hard drive…

  4. Friend of the court

    The Childrens are learning how to stand in line and be quiet. Last year, a new head came to the department that I work for. He is gone this year and so are eleven other people from the administrative office. The people who he managed to run off, had a combined total of 158 years of experience in the department. Most of them have not been replaced and the quality of service has suffered, a lot. On the bottom line side, the payroll savings have been substantial, no doubt.
    I remember taking standardized tests in school. I don’t remember getting a “practice test”, the week before, that had all the same questions, in different order. Is this cheating? The Childrens are learning to cheat and stand in line and be quiet. I heard an aid tell a kid, the other day, that they should never say “No”, to an adult. I offered an alternate opinion which was not appreciated. The Childrens are learning to obey, “God bless America”.

  5. nightowl724

    Well, I’m here… I’m still recovering from a total meltdown of my C: drive Friday night!

    I’ve been trying to post a longer comment with URLs since last night, but it won’t “take.” The screen refreshes, but that’s it. It doesn’t even say “comment pending.”

    Does anybody know what’s up? Have I forgotten or lost something important?

  6. Friend of the court

    My computer has been f’d up since Aug 10th. I am nervous about saying anything else, (it might be listening). Anyway, it is a lovely computer and I treasure it and will not be looking around for a newer one. 😉 Someone told me that I might have a problem with my browser, whatever that is.

  7. nonnie9999

    wordpress looks at comments with more than one link (and sometimes only one link) as spam, and they sit awaiting someone to look at them and say that it is or isn’t really spam. your comment was there twice, and i unspammed them and deleted the duplicate. don’t feel bad. it has identified a few of my comments as spam as well.

  8. nonnie9999

    the bottom line with this administration is the bottom line. they have no common sense and don’t realize that it will be cheaper to fund education now than to fund jail, welfare, and unemployment later. the same thing with health care. fund national health care now, including nutrition in schools to prevent childhood obesity, and it will cost us a helluva lot less later to take care of a lot of severely sick people. of course, that would mean less for big pharma, so it will never happen with the idiots in charge now.

  9. gottagrip

    I wish I could help you, Fotc and nightowl, but I am not tech savvy. There are instances where I am like an idiot savant, others where I am just an idiot. We need our fearless mikk0 back to help us sort these things out and tell us if it is time for the computer doctor or whether a funeral is in order. I had a problem when I first got up this morning with my keyboard being none functional. I found turning off my hard drive for several minutes and turning my keyboard over and banging it repeatedly seemed to do the trick. I suspect mikk0 would have offered other advice, but we do what we can….. 😕

  10. Friend of the court

    Bang the keyboard, brilliant! I shall add that to my trouble shooting tricks. So far, no keyboard problems, other than operator error. I did have a rather large and aggressive dust bunny attack my mouse once. I removed the ball and blew, sounds like more fun than it was, but it worked.

  11. nonnie9999

    i’m sure it was fun for the mouse, fotc! 😆

  12. gottagrip

    You have to watch the dust bunnies, they have no teeth, but are quite violent nevertheless. I take my mouse apart regularly, clean the little ball and the inner workings thoroughly with one of those cloths meant for the monitor, and wipe down my mousepad. It keeps the damned thing rolling, as opposed to fighting me at every turn, which I really hate when trying to cut up picks for parodies in photoshop.

    Banging the keyboard seems to loosen all of the crumbs I get lodged in there while eating every meal huddled over it. One of those cans of compressed air is helpful, but doesn’t really do the job on the seeds from ryebread, etc. I find banging to be the most effective way to deal with those, plus it’s so damned satisfying…..

  13. nightowl724

    Thanks, nonnie!

    Once before I had trouble posting a comment with links, but I got the message “1 comment pending,” so I knew it needed you to intervene, but this time that didn’t happen. That made me a “nervous nellie.”

    Your browser is Explorer or Firefox or whatever…

    gotta, I had to think of what you did with your keyboard like burping a baby. But, fotc, what you did with your mouse…you DID offer to marry it in the morning, didn’t you?

  14. Friend of the court

    I did not marry the mouse but, I do spend more time with it than I should. I had a cordless optic mouse, on a different computer, and I can not give my heart to another.