A reader who goes by the name “Democracy” reminds us of the much-hyped report by a task force of the Council on Foreign Relations, whose co-chairs were Joel Klein and Condoleeza Rice. It blamed the public schools for endangering national security and for the nation’s economic problems. I reviewed it here.

This is “Democracy’s” comment:

“Aah, Joel Klein.

Klein was a recent co-author – with Condaleezza Rice – of a Council on Foreign Relations education “report” that consisted mostly of tripe. But what can one reasonably expect from the likes of Klein and Rice?

Joel Klein perpetrates and perpetuates the myth that public education is in “crisis,” and without serious “reform” “the U.S. economy will continue to suffer.”

The “reform” pushed by Klein (and the Council report) is to impose the “business model” on public schools. This is the same “model” that led to big budget deficits, a ballooned national debt and a broken economy. Rather than take responsibility for what they did, the big bankers and hedge funders and politicians who brokered it all point the finger of blame at public schools and teachers.

Klein advocates more testing, merit pay through “value-added” evaluations, more charter schools and vouchers as “innovative” reforms. There is little or no research to support any of them.

Klein blames the current economic quagmire on public education. He writes that we used to “have a successful middle class,” but “that’s changed markedly since 1980.” Klein says “we’re rapidly moving toward two America’s –– a wealthy elite and an increasingly large underclass that lacks the skills to succeed.” His answer to the problem? The market, since “markets impose accountability.” A person would have to be moronic to make – or believe – such a claim.

Klein never makes any mention whatsoever, as he blames schools and teachers, of the supply-side economic policies pushed by conservative presidents, politicians and businessmen that are directly responsible for big budget deficits, millions of job losses, the most severe income stratification in the developed world, and our unsustainable national debt. He calls for “radical reform” of public education (more tests, merit pay, vouchers, etc), but says not one word about reforming the banking, derivatives trading and skewed tax system – coupled with regulatory enforcement –– that are sorely needed.

Condaleezza Rice was George W. Bush’s national security director before 9/11 occurred and during the launching of the war in Iraq, which she favored and supported. Rice helped to sell the American public the big lie of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, warning infamously that “ we don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.” Journalists who covered her reported that she “made public claims that she knew to be false.”

There’s little doubt but that Rice (and her colleagues) ignored repeated warnings about imminent terrorist threats. After 9/11, she said (repeatedly) that no one could have predicted that planes might be used as weapons, despite the fact that there were at least a dozen documented warnings of it.

Initially, until public pressure forced the Bush administration to relent, Rice refused to testify before the 9/11 Commission. When she did, it wasn’t pretty. She wiggles and squirms, and tries to obfuscate and evade answering questions about the Presidential Daily Briefing (PDB) of August 6, 2001. That PDB was titled “Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US” and warned that Bin Ladin was “determined…to conduct terrorist attacks in the US,” that he “prepares years in advance and is not deterred by setbacks.” The memo noted “patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks,” and it warned that a group of “Bin Ladin’s supporters was in the US planning attacks with explosives.”

Now just imagine that the physical and human dimensions of the Twin Towers and Pentagon and planes were converted into schools and schoolchildren. Would anyone seriously think that there had not been ample warning of an impending disaster? Would anyone think that any of those involved in ignoring the threat should NOT be held accountable? What Rice said in private testimony to the 9/11 Commission has not been declassified (it should be…there are likely some real “whoppers” in there). What she said in public testimony can be seen below. It isn’t pretty.

The Aug. 6, 2001 PDB is here:


Question: Why hasn’t Condaleezza Rice been held accountable for her negligence and malfeasance in office, and for her repeated lies?

Question: Why does anyone believe a single word that comes out of Joel Klein’s mouth?