The (former) president's reading lesson

Dennis Baron debaron at ILLINOIS.EDU
Sun Aug 23 05:44:43 UTC 2009

President Obama's health-care initiative may be visionary, but his
faith in the Bush administration's "No Child Left Behind" program,
with its emphasis on standardized testing, prompts me to reprise on
the Web of Language this 2004 essay that first appeared in Education

One scene in Michael Moore's 2004 documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11" keeps
playing in my head: George Bush placidly following along as second-
graders from Florida read a story called "The Pet Goat." Off camera,
in New York and Washington, planes are crashing into buildings. "The
Pet Goat" is far from riveting, yet it keeps the president in his seat
as the most devastating terrorist attack in the nation's history
unfolds. . . .

read the rest of this post, updated and illustrated, on the Web of
Dennis Baron
Professor of English and Linguistics
Department of English
University of Illinois
608 S. Wright St.
Urbana, IL 61801

office: 217-244-0568
fax: 217-333-4321

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