I heard this on Countdown tonight — as reported by Cynthia Garza in the Houston Chronicle

Former first lady Barbara Bush donated an undisclosed amount of money to the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund with specific instructions that the money be spent with an educational software company owned by her son Neil.

It’s sweet the way she goes out of her way to help her kids, isn’t it?

Regarding the fact that Bush’s earmarked donation also benefited her son’s company, Becker said, “Mrs. Bush is obviously an enthusiastic supporter of her son. She is genuinely supportive of his program,” and has received many letters from educators who support it. Bush “honestly felt this would be a great way to help the (evacuee) students.”

Barbara and Neil Bush presented the donated programs to Houston-area schools this winter.

“Becker” is Jean Becker, former President Bush’s chief of staff.

There are 40 Ignite programs being used in the Houston area, and 15 in the Houston school district, said Ken Leonard, president of Ignite.

Information about the effectiveness of the program, through district-generated reports, was not readily available Wednesday, according to an HISD spokeswoman.

Two years ago, the school district raised eyebrows when it expanded the program by relying heavily on private donations.

In February 2004, the Houston school board unanimously agreed to accept $115,000 in charitable donations from businesses and individuals who insisted the money be spent on Ignite. The money covered half the bill for the software, which cost $10,000 per school.

The deal raised conflict of interest concerns because Neil Bush and company officials helped solicit the donations for the HISD Foundation, a philanthropic group that raises money for the district.

Can we say “scam,” boys and girls? I think we can.

11 thoughts on “Unbelievable

  1. Pingback: The Moderate Voice

  2. Barbara Bush is one “tuff broad”. Her son, George, inherited her gait and smart-ass attitude and smirk.

    Neil and educational program sounds like an oxymoron to me. Remember the Savings & Loan scandal that he was involved in about 10 years ago?

    Remember hookers in his room when he was in Asia and married to wife no 1?

    Remember his wife on The Today Show promoting her book and stating that he had threatened her? We didn’t hear much from her again after that appearance did we?

    Remember his ex-wfie stating that Barbara Bush knew that he was having an affair while still married to her? I believe that wife number 2 was momma Bush’s secretary.

    Neil trying to get sales people in several other states to get his “educational tool” into other school systems. Yes, he has to milk it while his brother is still in the White House.

    I’m going to try to find out more about this Ignite joke. I imagine that it’s pretty lame.

    Remember when Barbara Bush visited the Katrina people displaced from NOLA and she said that she thought that they were better off? Did she mean because they would have an opportunity to partake of her brilliant son’s educational tool?

    Hmm-charitable donations from people who Neil solicited. I guess he figures that he has them by the short and curlies.

    I doubt if anyone will ever see the results of the program either.

    I wonder why we hear very little about Marvin Bush?

    Ignite & COW – what a joke!.

  3. Unbelievable! I just went to The Moderate Voice backtrack! I knew it would be a lame program and it’s even worse than I had expected.

    Neil Bush’s investors to help fund his Ignite! are from a Dubai company YES – as in UAE (remember port deal contract). The company is Datamatix.

    Neil formed the company in 1999. He holds “No Child Left Behind” contracts in FL and TX.

    What does Ignite! do?

    It’s an interactive program to improve scores on standardized tests. What kind of bullshit is this? The teachers and schools are already being judged by how well students perform on standardized tests!

    As a former educator, I can’t tell you how outraged I am by this!

  4. I’m sure there is some legal loophole that lets them do this, like Chaney and Halberton.

    As for programs (computer and otherwise) focused on improving test scores — that’s unfortunately quite common, though in the past they’ve been directed at parents, not schools. But now that the “No Child Left Behind” program is scheduled to start making deeper cuts in funding to schools that don’t “perform” on standardized tests, some schools are desperate. Even at the high prices charged, they are “cost effective.”

    Yup, it’s an elaborate scheme to cash in on the fallout from GW Bush’s procrustean NCLB program!

  5. As a former textbook production manager for Scholastic and McGraw Hill, and many years ago for Silver Burdett, I can assure you the entire Texas education system is a kind of scam. For example, the requirements for textbook adoption are so elaborate that publishers are not only required to print special editions just for Texas, there’s a huge consulting industry that sprung up just to help publishers understand the bleeping requirements. And in the late 1990s I noticed that a lot of the requirements were “teach to the test” stuff, which was much less true in the 1980s.

  6. Britwit don’t forget that in this country it is better to have a prole workforce that hasnt learned to think but can read(or at least understand the pictograph) the instructions to push the right button…at least in some people’s view.

  7. Apparently, the “No Child Left Behind” program refers to Barbara Bush’s child, Neil.

    Oh please, don’t leave my “Child” “Behind”. Neil needs to be included in the money loop Georgie. You have to help your brother. He got FL into the contracts because of brother Jeb and TX because of you but he needs to keep growing.

  8. *sigh* I love NCLB. Let’s help failing schools by only giving money to the successful ones. That’ll learn ’em.

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