Garrison Keillor, he of soothing baritone and dyed-in-the-wool liberal sensibilities, writes that it is not "Republican oligarchs in top hats and spats" who are failing the nation's public-school children. No. "Nice people are failing these kids, but when they are called on it, they get very huffy," he writes. Indeed, Keillor notes that many of his fellow Democrats oppose the No Child Left Behind law simply because it's related to President Bush. And Keillor also wonders: Why aren't we teaching phonics? "There is much evidence that teaching phonics really works, especially with kids with learning disabilities," he notes. "But because phonics is associated with behaviorism and with conservatives, and because the Current Occupant has spoken on the subject, my fellow liberals are opposed." What a shame. He says of the Reading First program (slashed over the holidays by his fellow Prairie Companion, Wisconsin Congressman David Obey), "It is morally disgusting if Democrats throw out Republican programs that are good for children." One hopes that more folks will, like Keillor, see the light and stop rejecting meritorious ideas just because they're associated with spat-wearers.
"Liberals able to botch up schools too," by Garrison Keillor, Chicago Tribune, January 30, 2008