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.”
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.
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!