Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Swinging through West Virginia

crossposted at The American Street yesterday
This week Bush falls back on a less radioactive topic, his signature piece No Child Left Behind (NCLB), as he skedaddles to the swing state of West Virginia today to salvage his fragile lead.*

In a defensive move, Bush targets high school education a week after Kerry unveiled his education policy . In his plan, Kerry identified a neglected area of NCLB, high school dropout rates.

Nice to see Kerry proposes concrete steps to solve the problem, unlike current Bush policy which ignores the dropout problem.
    Kerry today pledged to build a stronger America by increasing graduation rates and giving all young people the opportunity to achieve their potential. Instead of ignoring students who are falling behind as George Bush has done, Kerry said he will stand up for these students with a plan that will fully fund NCLB, strengthen middle schools and high schools and require real accountability for graduation rates. Kerry’s plan will help over 1 million students receive higher earnings and experience the opportunities that a high school diploma has been proven to provide.
Another positive development: Kerry's camp provides timely rebuttals to the new Bush education ad that just came out May 12th, 2004. For those who live in the targeted swing states, refer to this next time you view the Bush ad on accountability:
    Kerry campaign spokesperson Phil Singer issued the following statement today in response to the latest false, misleading Bush ad:

    "This is just another one of George Bush's false and misleading attack ads aimed at obscuring the fact that the President has broken his promise to improve our schools. The fact is that George Bush has failed to provide school districts with the tools and resources they need to meet the goals of the No Child Left Behind Act so he is engaging in gratuitous political attacks. As President, John Kerry will succeed where George Bush has failed and make the investments needed to help improve our schools."

    NARRATOR: “Better Education is about accountability. For years, low standards and poor accountability plagued our schools. Then President Bush signed the most sweeping education reforms in 35 years. John Kerry praised the President’s reforms. Even voted for them.”


    Bush Shortchanged Own Education Law by $9.4 Billion in 2005. Bush proposed $9.4 billion less for his No Child Left Behind Act than was authorized by the act in his 2005 budget. Bush has shortchanged NCLB by a total of $33.2 billion in his last four budgets. [Department of Ed Budgets 2001-2005,]

    Bush Terminated Dropout Prevention Programs. Bush cut dropout prevention programs entirely out of his 2005 budget. In explanation of the cut, OMB called the programs “unnecessary,” saying that other funding was available for this purpose. [Budget of the United States,; Major Reductions and Terminations in the 2005 Budget, OMB]

    Half of All Hispanics Drop Out by High School. According to a study released in February 2004 by The Urban Institute, only 53 percent of all Hispanic students got a high school diploma in 2001. [The Urban Institute, Who Graduates, Who doesn’t,, 2/25/04]

For more numbers,, a project sponsored by, has generated a special report in response to the Bush administration's statements on education.

Kerry rebuttal to the new Bush education ad special report on Bush education policies

*Regarding West Virginia, Ipsos-Public Affairs reports the following numbers in this pre-Abu Ghraib period of 4/26 to 4/29, 2004, Moe=4, N=984:
Bush 47%
Kerry 43%
Nader 2%

The Washington Post on the topic