By Barbara Miner
But when one looks at what the summit didn't discuss, it's seamless logic begins to unravel. (Similarly, a number of the summit's assumptions don't hold up; see related article.)
Non-subjects at the conference were legion. To name just a few: multiculturalism, funding equity, equal educational opportunity, special education, the highly segregated nature of U.S. schooling, the need for increased access to both pre-school and higher education for all students, and the devastating consequences of child poverty - which hovers around 20% in the United States. In other industrial countries, especially when equitable tax and income transfer policies are included, the child poverty rate in 1995 ranged from 9.3% in Canada to 2.8% in Germany and 1.6% in Sweden.
Nor did anyone mention the Kansas Board of Education's decision this August to strike evolution and the Big Bang Theory from the state's standards, in deference to religious fundamentalists who believe such concepts are at odds with the Bible. The evolution decision undercuts the guiding principal of biology, while the Big Bang Theory decision eliminates the central concept in modern astronomy and cosmology. For all their bluster about "guts" and "political will," the governors and corporate leaders appear unwilling to take on the religious right's attempt to gut science standards.
Of the many issues not discussed at the summit, three stand out.