The People for the American Way report "exposes a stealth campaign by the administration to reward groups that support its private-school voucher agenda at the expense of strengthening public schools," said Edward M. Kennedy (Mass.), ranking Democrat on the Senate education committee.
"Balderdash," said Education Undersecretary Hickok. If there were any favoritism, he said, it was "favoritism in the sense that we support those organizations that support No Child Left Behind," a law President Bush signed in January 2002 that aims to raise educational standards through high-stakes testing and better-qualified teachers.
"Welcome to the vast right-wing conspiracy," laughed [Arizona schools superintendent Lisa Graham] Keegan, chief executive of the ELC, who was a candidate for secretary of education after Bush was elected.
[Editor's note: Ha. ha. HA.]
Keegan said it is only natural that the Bush administration should want to correct a liberal bias in American education by giving grants to groups that share its philosophy. While she rejects the "right-wing" tag, she says "it is necessary to be ideological in education these days if you want to promote academic standards, school choice, and new routes to certifying teachers that work against the grain of current ideas in education."