Saturday, October 01, 2005

An Impossible, Ridiculous, and Morally Reprehensible Thing to Do 

Courtesy of our indefatigable colleague Susie Madrak at Suburban Guerrilla, Reed Hundt's personal reminiscence of crimefightin' Bill Bennett:
When I was chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (1993-97), I asked Bill Bennett to visit my office so that I could ask him for help in seeking legislation that would pay for internet access in all classrooms and libraries in the country . . . . The schools covered were public and private. So far the federal funding (actually collected from everyone as part of the phone bill) has been matched more or less equally with school district funding to total about $20 billion over the last seven years. More than 90% of all teachers praise the impact of such technology on their work. At any rate, since Mr. Bennett had been Secretary of Education [under Ronald Reagan -- S.] I asked him to support the bill in the crucial stage when we needed Republican allies. He told me he would not help, because he did not want public schools to obtain new funding, new capability, new tools for success. He wanted them, he said, to fail so that they could be replaced with vouchers, charter schools, religious schools, and other forms of private education. Well, I thought, at least he's candid about his true views.
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