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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  June 5, 2012 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT

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captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> ifill: a drone strike has killed al qaeda's second in command, according to u.s. officials. good evening. i'm gwen ifill. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. on the newshour tonight, we get the latest on the death of abu yahya al-libi, an experienced leader in the terror network who once escaped from an american prison in afghanistan. >> ifill: then, as voters head to the polls in five states, judy woodruff interviews former president bill clinton about his global initiative, politics, and mitt romney's business record.
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>> i don't think that saying that i was in business and i succeeded, therefore, i would be a good president on the economy. it just doesn't follow. there's no evidence of it. >> brown: we examine a promising new "smart bomb" drug treatment for breast cancer that attacks tumors while leaving healthy cells alone. >> ifill: from our "american graduate" series, ray suarez talks with former assistant secretary of education diane ravitch about what teachers can do to stem the nation's dropout problem. >> teachers want to work together. they know that they're on the same team. they want to collaborate. the essence of every good school is collaboration and teamwork, not competition. >> brown: and we close with a look at the grand finale of a four-day party celebrating queen elizabeth's diamond jubilee. >> ifill: that's all ahead on tonight's newshour. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> growing up in arctic norway, everybody took fish oil to stay healthy. when i moved to the united states almost 30 years ago, i could not find an omega-3 fish oil that worked for me. i became inspired to bring a new definition of fish oil quality to the world.
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today, nordic naturals is working to fulfill our mission ieelringing omega-3s to omega-3s are essential to life. >> at&t >> the william and flora hewlett foundation, working to solve social and environmental problems at home and around the world. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> brown: u.s. officials confirmed today a drone strike killed the number two leader of al qaeda. the strike happened yesterday in north waziristan in pakistan,
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targeting abu yahya al-libi, seen as the most prominent figure in the terrorist network after its leader, ayman al- zawahri. at the white house today, press secretary jay carney would not confirm how al-libi died, but said his death was a major blow to the terror group. >> removing leaders like al-libbi from the very top of al qaeda is part of an ongoing effort to disrupt and dismantle and ultimately defeat al qaeda. that is an important piece of business. >> brown: and we fill in some of the details now with seth jones, an analyst at the rand corporation and author of the new book, "hunting in the shadows: the pursuit of al qa'ida after 9/11." seth, so tell us more. who was he and why was he important target some. >> abu yahya libby was an individual from libya who had spent time first fighting in the libyan islamic fighting group. then he fought against the soviets in afghanistan, made his
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way up the leadership structure of al qaeda in pakistan and become the head of its religious committee or shura. after the death of the general manager last year in a drone strike,... >> brown: general manager of the entire network. >> of the entire network. he took that place. for the several months he has been the gate keeper to al qaeda's leader now zawari. >> brown: what does general manager mean? it goes to the question of the structure of al qaeda and how they communicate, how they carry out actions. >> it's probably something along the lines of a managing editor at a newspaper. somebody who is involved in helping run the day-to-day operations of the group. anybody that wanted to talk to or send messages to zawari the leader would have to generally go through abu yahya. when zawari sent messages to the field, affiliates in somalia, iraq or north africa would do it down to abu yahya al-libbi and
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out. >> brown: he had been captured and escaped from an american prison in afghanistan. >> he had been and toured by u.s. forces around the afghan-pakistan border. then he had escaped after serving some time at bagram air base along with several others. >> brown: now, there have been other killings... killings of other said to be number two or high-ups in al qaeda. how easily replaceable is anyone? how does... it goes to the structure of the organization. >> well, a couple things. one is it's not easy to replace this kind of individual. somebody like this needs to have legitimacy among the affiliates in the field. abu yahya had that. he was from africa. libya in particular. so he had a good network of individuals from al qaeda and the islamic north africa, yemen and somalia. there are some potential individuals who might be able to fill that plot. al qaeda has after these drone strikes pushed up individuals. but i think what we're seeing is
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the al qaeda structure in pakistan has definitely been weakened by the strike. >> brown: do we know or can we know how he was targeted in a drone strike or where the information would come from? >> no, it's not entirely clear in this particular case. in many cases with drone strikes, one collects information from a variety of means. signals intelligence, human intelligence. what looks to be the case though based on the pattern of drone strikes is that the u.s. and a range of other organizations have increasingly penetrated where al qaeda sits in pakistan. that can not bode well for al qaeda because it's losing its support network there. >> brown: these drone strikes continue to be highly contentious and vehemently opposed in pakistan. one assumes the same would be true in this case. >> at least publicly. the pakistan government has publicly criticized some of these strikes. privately i think there's a different issue here. they have allowed the u.s. to conduct a range of operations.
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but we know publicly and from the pakistan population in general they are not popular. >> brown: you're suggesting in a case like this, you are talking about the impact in pakistan but it has implications to what are sometimes called affiliates in yemen, in somalia? >> well, obviously pakistan is not the only location where al qaeda has been targeted. the challenge with an enemy like this, like al qaeda, is that unlike traditional enemies and adversaries that maybe only operating in one country, al qaeda operates on multiple continents. and in multiple countries so this war in the drone campaign then is in africa. it's in pakistan. it's in a range of other places. >> brown: seth jones, thanks. thank you. >> ifill: still to come on the newshour: former president bill clinton; a new drug to treat breast cancer; diane ravitch on the drop-out crisis; and a spectacular ending to the queen's jubilee. but first, with the other news of the day, here's hari sreenivasan.
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>> sreenivasan: syria's foreign ministry announced today it is expelling 17 u.s. and european diplomats from damascus. the move comes days after western nations expelled syrian diplomats over a deadly massacre in houla. it underscored the difficulties u.n. special envoy kofi annan faces in brokering a peace plan there. syria's deputy foreign minister spoke today in damascus. is decision comes in the context of our reaction to the decision taken by those states. we have waited long for the other side to correct their policies and position and to offer the necessary support to annan's mission and the observers' mission. however, unfortunately, we had to take this step since we believe that the others do not want this mission to succeed and do not want the syrian people to return to the stability and peace they are seeking. >> sreenivasan: but the syrian government did move today to allow more humanitarian workers to reach four of the hardest-hit provinces targeted in the brutal crackdown. u.n. aid officials estimate that will bring urgent assistance to
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at least one million people. the path was cleared today for the u.s. supreme court to hear a challenge to california's gay marriage law. the ninth u.s. circuit court declined to consider an appeal in a case where judges found a voter proposition that banned gay marriages violated the u.s. constitution. backers of the ban, known as proposition eight, have vowed to appeal to the supreme court. if the court agrees to consider the case, it would be the second gay marriage case in front of it. the supreme court could also decline to review it altogether. in washington, senate republicans blocked a bill demanding equal pay for men and women in the workplace. female employees in the u.s. make an average of 77 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts. the proposed measure would build on current law by barring employers from retaliating against workers who ask or disclose information about their wages. maryland democrat barbara mikulski, the legislation's main sponsor, insisted the fight for equal pay will go on. >> women are mad as hell.
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they don't want to take it anymore. if they work hard, if they do the job, qualify for the job, have the same education, the same seniority, they want the same pay. they want it for themselves. we want it for them. >> sreenivasan: republican opponents, like minority leader mitch mcconnell of kentucky, argued the pay equity act would have unfairly burdened employers and created more legal action. >> this issue is about rewarding plaintiffs' lawyers for filing lawsuits. we think it is a wrong way to go about dealing with this issue. but we don't think america suffers from a lack of litigation. we have a jobless problem. we have a debt problem. we have a deficit problem. we have a lot of problems. not enough lawsuits is not one of them. >> sreenivasan: president obama was a staunch supporter of the bill. republican presidential candidate mitt romney has yet to take a stand on the issue. on wall street today, stocks rebounded slightly from last
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week's sell-off, but investor angst over the euro-zone still lingered. the dow jones industrial average gained more than 26 points to close at 12,127. the nasdaq rose 18 points to close at 2,778. the walt disney company today became the first major media corporation to ban junk food advertising. the plans will not be fully implemented until 2015. but by then, all food and beverage products that are advertised or promoted by disney will have to meet strict nutrition guidelines. many foods-- like prepackaged lunches, fruit drinks, candy and snack cakes-- won't make the cut. according to the centers for disease control and prevention, one out of five american children and adolescents is obese, putting them at risk for a host of health problems. a small dot passing in front of the sun this evening is actually the planet venus. stargazers around the world prepared to view the rare astronomical event when venus passes directly between the earth and sun. the so-called transit is visible to the naked eye, but no one should look directly at the sun without proper eye protection. the next transit of venus will
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not occur again for more than a century in 2117. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to gwen. >> ifill: voters in five states cast ballots today in critical primary contests. but all eyes were on wisconsin, and its high-stakes gubernatorial recall. after months of rallies, phone calls, and door knocking, wisconsin voters finally get their say today. republican governor scott walker was hoping to avoid becoming only the third governor in u.s. history to be recalled. his opponent-- milwaukee mayor tom barrett, the same man walker defeated in 2010. both have spent millions of dollars in a bitter contest. >> i voted for scott walker once and i want to make sure he gets in again. >> scott walker was elected to legislate, not to dictate. >> ifill: voters in a handful of other states-- including california, new mexico, montana, south dakota, and new jersey--
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also cast ballots in presidential primaries, tossup congressional races, and local contests. former massachusetts governor mitt romney, who clinched the g.o.p. nomination last week, met with supporters in texas today. >> three and a half years in as president with america in crisis, with 23 million people out of work or stopped looking for work, he hasn't put forward a plan to get us working again. now, i know we're getting close to an election, so he'll come out with one soon. >> ifill: president obama hit the campaign trail to raise money in new york city yesterday, taking direct aim at his republican foe. >> and now, they've got a nominee who is expressing support for an agenda that would reverse the progress we've made and take us back to the exact same policies that got us into this mess in the first place. >> ifill: mr. obama was joined on the stump by his most recent democratic predecessor, bill clinton, who said a romney victory would be "calamitous." judy woodruff sat down with
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president clinton today in new york. >> woodruff: president clinton, thank you very much for talking to us. >> glad to do it, judy. woodruff: we're talking on the leave of the global initiative where the focus is on jobs. this latest jobs report week, disappointing. only 69,000 jobs created across the country. the unemployment rate is up. doesn't that seriously undercut president obama's efforts to say that things are moving in the right direction? >> well, it means it's something he needs to talk to the american people about. but to me it doesn't. for two or three reasons. one is i think that the jobs creation has slowed down partly because maybe we're a little robust in the winter because we had a warm winter. maybe that's given us a slower spring. but the big factors are europe which is like casting a pall everything, all this trouble in europe where unemployment is three points higher in the euro
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zone than it is here. it's slowed down growth in india, china and brazil as well as here. that's the first thing. secondly, i think that the government has real ability to generate employment through infrastructure investments and aid to state and local governments, but the congress won't pass a jobs plan. and we've had in the last 27 months 4.3 million new private-sector jobs but we've lost 600,000 public jobs because we didn't continue what the stimulus had done there. and then the third thing is we're still working out of this housing thing. if we could accelerate the rate -- and it does seem to be picking up now -- accelerate the rate in which all of these mortgage issues will resolve, then i think you would see particularly on the part of small businesses a lot more borrowing, a lot more investment, a lot more activity. >> woodruff: if there are three or four months like this last
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one where the jobs report is so... is moving down, some people are saying the president's goose is cooked politically. >> i don't agree with that. i think for one thing, he would be in trouble if that happened and the congress had passed his whole jobs plan. but they didn't. and they are explicitly advocating -- and so is governor romney -- an approach that looks like the approach the europeans are trying to get out, which is austerity first which drives up unemployment and interestingly enough drives the government deficit up. and he says let's grow now and adopt a ten-year budget plan that drives the budget down. they're saying let's have austerity now and adopt a ten-year budget plan which according to all the independent analysis is actually add a trillion or two dollars to the debt because of their big tax cuts. so i think he really just has to
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talk to the american people and trust them with the truth here. this is a very complicated thing. if you go back 500 years, the average financial collapse takes five to ten years to get over, to get back to full employment. if there's a mortgage collapse, which we've had for the last couple hundred years periodically it's closer to to ten years. what he's trying to do is to beat that. the american people are... they want things done the day before yesterday. they don't like to wait ten years to do anything. there's too much miss reout there. i would say he's on track to beat that pretty quickly by quite a lot. >> woodruff: there's a great debate about this. you've given it a lot of thought. but what is more important when it comes to job creation. is it lowering tax rates or is it government investment? >> when there is almost zero private activity and no demand for money, interest rates are virtually nothing. the interest rate on a government ten-year bond yesterday was a quarter of a percent. if you assume inflation is at
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2%, that means somebody that buys a million dollars in government bonds is paying the government to keep their money. i mean, it's amazing. under these circumstances, it's more important that the government jin up activity and put people to work and especially if you can attract private capital which we could with that bank proposal which has republican and democrat support. >> woodruff: is that going going to be workable with this european debt crisis overhang you've just been talking about? >> yes, because the german interest rates, believe it or not, are even lower than ours. but what will happen is that's what the europeans are trying to do. they're trying to figure out, number one, how can we avoid a bank run in the vulnerable countries. greece is a special case where they don't have a good tax system and hardly anybody pays what they're supposed to. but the spanish had a government budget surplus before their real
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estate collapsed. so the europeans are thinking we probably better do something to improve the security of the banks. an individual deposit is insured 100,000 euros. in america it's now $250,000. maybe they'll take it up some and do some other things to stabilize the banks. then if they can put together a euro-bond that is backed by the biggest economies, it will be at very low interest rates too. that's what they're talking about doing is moving away from austerity now to growth now. you cannot balance a budget without three things. you have to have economic growth, spending restraint, and an appropriate revenue stream. you can argue about the last two but the first is clear. if you look at what happened in the u.k. when they tried austerity first, it didn't balance the budget because no matter how much you cut, if there's no private activity, revenues are going to drop more than you cut spending. >> woodruff: but you're saying
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there's an urgent situation right now. >> it's urgent in europe. i think they have 30 to 50 days to fix it. i think... they just need to send a signal out there. if they calm things down and then we can increase activity here, i think, you know, we'll get through this. >> woodruff: just one question about governor romney and the campaign. you praised his business experience last week, his record. you said he passed the threshold test. i guess my question is, how do those skills that he picked up as a private-sector executive at bain capital, how do they translate in terms of job creation into being president? >> i think they have more to do with the way you sort of manage the white house and the style you have. i don't think they necessarily have any relevance at all to creating jobs. they might if the macro economics is right. but... but if you look at the economic plan that he's advanced , in my opinion it's
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wrong on two counts. wrong in the short term. wrong in the long run. it calls for austerity now which means more unemployment. in the long run it calls for tax cuts so big with unspecified savings that every independent analyst says it will add a trillion or two to the debt. so i don't think... business experience does not guarantee success. i don't think that saying that i was in business and i succeeded therefore i would be a good president on the economy. it just doesn't follow. there's no evidence of it. >> woodruff: is the obama campaign wrong to continue to criticize romney's record at bain capital? >> not necessarily. it depends on the facts of the case. that's what i tried to say in the cnn interview. the equity business can be good if you... i've got a friend who buys failing companies. and he tries to turn them
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around. he's turned a bunch of them around but not all of them. so sometimes he tried and fail failed. that effort was honorable. that's a good thing. there are lots of examples over the last 20 years of people used equity to take control of companies, got the companies in greater debt, looted the assets, caused more people to be fired and in some cases compromised the pensions. that's a bad thing. that's when you're just... you're buying something and looting it because you can. i didn't have any idea when i was giving that answer that i was wading into some controversy in the campaign because i haven't seen the ads. i'm not following it. i'm not really part of it. but you'd have to know about a specific case to know whether it was good or bad. but there are a lot of good people in that business doing good things. that's the point i was making. but it's much more relevant to
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look at what he did at governor and what he proposeds to do as president. >> woodruff: the last thing. money in this campaign. we've heard from the romney folks, people supporting mitt romney. they're going to spend a billion dollars or more in this election. we expect president obama's side to spend almost that much if not that much. is that the kind of campaign we just have to get used to from now on? >> you can argue that $2 billion is not too much to spend for an economy that's over $15 trillion. i personally think it's unnecessary. particularly when you're running for president, we're going to know who they are. they could do five debates instead of three, for example, or whatever they're going to do. and do that. i don't like it because once you get past the informational stage, you've got that much money, it's basically being used to target specific audiences with carefully tailored negative messages that confuse the issue. but the supreme court has said
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that we can't limit it. so unless we're prepared to overturn the citizens united case, we're probably not going to do anything about it. but i think it's too much. >> woodruff: president clinton, thank you very much for talks with us. >> thank you. >> brown: online, you can watch more of judy's interview and read the full transcript, including what president clinton said about declaring china a currency manipulator. >> ifill: now, new research in the battle against breast cancer that offers intriguing promise for tackling other cancers, as well. doctors meeting at a major conference in chicago this week believe they are on track to create a drug that would specifically target cancer cells while largely leaving healthy cells undamaged. for more about this and other findings, i am joined by dr. michael link, the president of the american society of clinical oncology, the group hosting this week's conference.
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he's a pediatric cancer specialist at stanford university school of medicine. welcome, dr. link. so, tell me. how does this work exactly? how do you target the bad cells and not hurt the good ones? >> well, this is great technology because what we have is a molecule that hones in on a target that is is on the cancer cells but not on very many normal cells. attached to that molecule is a poison or a toxin which is delivered directly to the cell and then the cell sort of takes it in and then that toxin or poison is activated and the cell is destroyed. because it's only delivered to the cancer cell, we minimize the collateral damage of the normal cells that are nearby. >> ifill: this has only been proven effective so far for recurrent cancers? >> well, the drug has been tested in women who have cancers that have been refrak er to or have recurred. the good news is that they've already had the antibody which
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targets this same target on the surface of the cell but now what we've done is we've souped up the molecule so it's delivering a toxin but getting at that same target and delivering that poison to the cell. >> ifill: you use the word poison which raises the question of side effects. are there great side effects in this kind of treatment? >> that's the good news here. although there are some side effects but mostly because the toxin is delivered directly to the cancer cell and because there's specificity meaning it doesn't deliver that poison to normal cells which don't have that target on their surface. most of the damage is done to the cancer cells without that collateral damage of the normal cells. >> ifill: how much does this increase the chances of prolonging survival? >> well, in the study we've seen there's not only a prolongation of the time for how long women stay without disease progression, but we already have a hint from this study, although it's not final yet, that it's prolonging the survival as well.
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these are women that have already had progression of their cancers despite treatment. the hope is, of course, is that treatment will move earlier on in therapy to women who have not yet had recurrence of their disease on treatment and will be much more effective as it usually is in patients with what we call earlier stage of their disease. >> ifill: let's be clear. this is about delaying the worsening of a cancer, not eradicating it. >> well, in the setting that it was used, which is often the case in the early testing of a drug, that is exactly the case. although the survival is prolonged and what we see from this study is that the median survival, in other words, how long half the women are still alive, has not yet been reached in the group of women that receive this. and we already know that it's better than the standard treatment that would be normally used for women in this clinical situation. so the hope is though by applying it earlier on in treatment for women whose disease is not so refractory
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that will be a time when we'll see the effectiveness of this drug. >> ifill: you came out of several reports. another one was the news that a report that you came out with about childhood radiation and the long-term effect of that. can you tell me a little bit about that. >> yes. this is a message which of course is a mixed message really. what we're finding out is that young women who are treatedded as young women when they grow up and 20 years later and 30 years later there's a much higher incidence of breast cancer in those of them that have had radiation to the breast tissue during their childhood. this is something that wee worried about but the news here is it's even women who have received relatively low dose of radiation. now the good news is, of course, that this is a testament to the fact that we've cured these women, that it's 20 and 30 years after their cancer. so that they are really have survived their first cancer. but this is something that, of course, the flip side or the bad news is that we have to worry about the price of cure. we have to worry about what are the delayed effects of our treatments that we give.
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we always have the survivors to make sure that we can do something about that treatment. perhaps eliminate radiation from women who don't need it, who we can actually treat them and cure them without the radiation. we have precedent for that. >> ifill: someone comes to you with a child who is suffering from some version of childhood cancer, say, a non-hodgkins or limp foam a or something that is reasonably curable. what should the doctor do to guard against bad effects later on in life? >> well, we do our west. in the patients who have the best prognosis, particularly as an example that you cited, we've eliminated radiation for the treatment because we proved some years ago that we could do just as well with a little bit more chemotherapy, without the radiation and eliminate that effect. in some patients with mored advanced did i series... diseases we need to use radiation. the first important goal is to cure the patient because we won't have these late side effects if we don't cure the
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patient. we do have an interest in survivors and what are the delayed effects of therapy? that's part of our commitment to the patient. >> ifill: dr. michael link of stanford university and president of the american society of clinical oncology, thank you so much for helping us out. >> thank you. >> brown: now, the second part of our series about teachers, testing, and accountability in public schools. last night, we interviewed melinda gates, co-founder of the gates foundation, who's been an outspoken advocate for testing and tougher standards. tonight, we get a different view on how teachers are and should be evaluated. ray suarez has our story. >> classical or traditional education is dead. it's failing our students. >> suarez: across america, teachers are talking, taking a rare opportunity to discuss their work lives, their joys and frustrations, and trade ideas on how to raise graduation rates and reduce the number of dropouts.
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they're venting, and sharing practical tips about what works in their classrooms, at a series of teacher town halls hosted by a dozen local pbs stations. it's part of the "american graduate" initiative, sponsored by the corporation for public broadcasting and the bill and melinda gates foundation, both funders of this program. >> in this country today, what we're focusing on instead is, can you answer a multiple choice test instead of how do we make you love education? how do we get you to feel that this is something that is meaningful to you? and if we don't do that, the rest of this is a waste of time. >> suarez: some topics have cropped up in nearly every city: the increased emphasis on testing, the importance of learning to read at an early age, and teacher evaluations. throughout the continuing debate on how to hold teachers accountable for student achievement, some of the most vocal opposition has come from what you might call a former reformer.
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diane ravitch served as a deputy secretary of education during the george h.w. bush administration. but in recent years, she's sharply criticized the federal law known as "no child left behind," a law signed by president george w. bush. she's also been critical of the obama administration's approach, and of major changes in school districts in new york city and washington, d.c., where chancellors have insisted on tougher accountability measures for teachers. ravitch is an author and education historian. tonight, we get her view of the ongoing debate. welcome back to the program. in the recent debates on fixing american schools, a lot of emphasis has been placedded on teachers, how to train them, how to pay them, even when and how to fire them. is putting teachers at the center of reform at least a step in the right direction? >> well certainly teachers are crucial to schools. they're crucial to everything that happens in schools.
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but there's been way too negative a discussion. there has been so much demonizing of teachers as though they're a great problem. the overwhelmingly majority of teachers in this country are very hard working, very dedicated and for the most part underpaid. >> suarez: is there a place where an evaluation system that figures out what teachers do well, identifies areas where they need improvement and then goes on to pay top performers accordingly? >> well, there's two parts to your question. first of all should teachers be evaluated? yes. should they be evaluated by the test scores of their students as race to the top the obama program requires? absolutely not. that is a harmful way to evaluate teachers. should teachers be paid more if the test scores go up? they should not be because that putsoo much emphasis on very poor tests. it causes teachers to teach to the test which everybody agrees is a terrible thing to do. it also leads to narrowing of the curriculum so that schools will drop the arts. they'll drop history.
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they're drop civics, foreign languages. they'll focus only on what's tests. it is actually very educationally harmful to pay teachers to get higher test scores in reading and math or in any subject because it's just not a good method. i might add that this whole idea of merit pay has been tried again and again since the 1920s. it has never ever produced results. >> suarez: how do you achieve some form of accountability? if you can't look at a classroom of 23, 28, 30 kids and say, these kids know how to read when they couldn't, know how to compute when they couldn't. we can actually see whether this teacher is doing an effective job. >> reporter: that's absolutely crucial. that's the job, first of all, of the principal of the school. the department chair. and also in systems that are doing this, it's a job of peer review. the way you measure teacher performance is to observe teachers performing. then you look at the work of their students. you look at where they were when they came in, whether they're learning or not. you don't make that judgment just based on test scores
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because the standardized tests are way too narrow and not a very useful instrument for that. >> suarez: you made the point they're being asked to take the lion's share of the blame. are there in fact ineffective teachers and can they be fired in places where collective bargaining agreements have historically made it difficult to do it? >> are there ineffective teachers? i'm sure there must be. i've heard stories. i don't think there should be one ineffective teacher in any school. it's the job of the administration, the job of the principal primarily, to make sure that no ineffective teacher ever gets tenure. once they get tenure, all that means, it doesn't mean they have a lifetime job. it doesn't mean they get paid for breathing. it means they have a right to due process. if after getting tenure the principal says i want to fire you, they have to have evidence. they have to have a hearing before an impartial administrator. that is not such a burdensome thing but it's very clear that this is is not the key problem in american education because the lowest performance is not in
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union districts. the highest performance in america is massachusetts, connecticut and new jersey. these are three states that are all union states. they have very strong collective bargaining agreements. and the highest performing states. the weakest performance are in states with no collective bargaining and where there's a lot of poverty. i think it's really important in your discussions about education that you recognize that the most... the biggest single correlate and very likely i would say the cause of low performance is not teachers or union contracts. it's poverty and racial isolation. in every district where there is very low academic achievement, there is poverty and racial isolation. yet we are now trapped in this national conversation where there's almost an agreement we will not talk about poverty. we will not talk about racial isolation. we'll just talk about teachers. we are talking about the wrong problem. >> suarez: you got a lot of attention when you wrote an article reassessing some of the educational policies you had supported before.
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like no child left behind's emphasis on testing. using competition, using charters. what changed your mind? >> well, it was not just an article. it was a book. i wrote a book called the death and life of the great american school system explaining where i turned against testing, accountable, competition, choice. the acculumation of evidence saying that these are not only just ineffective policies they're actually harmful to education. they undermine education. the acculumation of evidence was such that i found i could no longer support no child left behind or any of these programs that say that teachers should compete with one another because they don't. teachers want to work together. they know that they're on the same team. they want to collaborate. the essence of every good school is collaboration and teamwork not competition. >> suarez: another big change in the years you've been talking about has seen foundations become big players in proposing and advocating new educational policies including privatization, parental control, increased use of charter schools. have have the foundations been a
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worthwhile addition to the debate over the future of education? >> i have a chapter in my book about... i call them the billionaire boys' club. the billionaires boys' club is led by the three biggest foundations in america, the gates foundation, the walt on foundation and the broads foundation. they give a lot of money to american education. i has been given to push the privatization movement forward as well as to put a very heavy emphasis on testing and test scores as part of teacher evaluation. i think that, you know, i'm a historian. i look back and i say there has never been a time in our national life where foundations which are accountable to no one make decisions about what our education policy should be. sometimes they make a wrong bet. and the gates foundation is a very good example of this. they put $2 billion into breaking up large high schools into small high schools. after doing that for almost a decade they said, oops, that didn't work. we're not going to do that anymore. now we're going to put the focus
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on teacher evaluation. the immense amount of money, the hundreds of millions of dollars that gates foundation and now these other big foundations are pouring in, they are directing the national conversation. i think that's not... it strikes me that that's in some ways not democratic. our conversations what to do about our schools should be held at the local level and at the state level. the federal government is there to level the playing field not there to steer the boat. >> suarez: great to talk with you. thanks for joining us. >> thank you so much, ray. >> ifill: in our next report, we hear from teachers speaking out at a panel in new york city moderated by ray. online, you can find all of our reports, and a link to the "american graduate" web site on our home page. "american graduate" is a public media initiative funded by the corporation for public broadcasting. >> brown: we'll be back shortly with the view from london on the queen's jubilee. but first, this is pledge week on pbs. this break allows your public television station to ask for your support, and that support >> we thank you for joining us
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>> ifill: finally tonight, the grand finale of the four-day celebration of queen elizabeth's 60-year reign. andy davies of independent television news recaps the day. reporter: when it comes to scenes etched in patriotism, this provided an almost perfect motif today. the cheering crowds orderly behind and all framed in an avenue of union flags. a slow mass march and all for a glimpse of a monarch. , a monarch's wave. >> hip hip hurrah. reporter: the day began to the sound track in contrast to the pop concert setting here of the night before. this the fourth and final day of the diamond jubilee set aside for prayer and no little pomp.
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in place of prince philip in the state bentley a lady in waiting surveyed the cheering crowd. this was a day of ceremony punctuated by fanfares. each phase ushered in by kurtees and bows and set to a chorus of heart felt gratitude for a 60-year reign. as she left st. paul's cathedral the queen was shown the spot where victoria, the last monarch to celebrate a diamond jubilee held a similar service outside. it was 1897. they had been too frail to tackle the steps. at the nearby mansion house was the common wealth youth choir to sing the queen in to the next
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reception. then it was to whitehall and westminster hall for a lunch of welsh lamb with 700 guests, many of them trades men and women. >> you are a constant in a changing world and a constant good. >> reporter: earlier today the queen resip ricketted the many tributes with a specially recorded message to address the nation. >> the events that i have attended to mark my diamond jubilee have been a humbling experience. it has touched me deeply to see so many thousands of families, neighbors and friends celebrating together in such a happy atmosphere. >> reporter: at the palace, they assembled in their hundreds of thousands as the military took over and the flight signaled the finale of this diamond jubilee weekend.
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>> brown: ned temko, a writer for "the observer" newspaper, has been watching the goings-on, and joins us now from london. ned, a lot of pomp, a lot of affection. that's how it looks from here. how does it feel there? >> yep. much the same wayment it's been a spectacular four days. on the most superficial level a wonderful excuse to party which lots of people did in just about every corner of this land. but there really is... it was an outpouring of genuine affection and admiration for queen elizabeth. and i think a recognition that over the 60 years during which she's been on the throne she's been the one constant in a lot of people's lives in this country. >> brown: it's really mostly about her. is it also about the monarchy? is there, i don't know, more we can read into this? >> well, i think it's about both. there is still and there will
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always be a strong intellectual minority who are republican here who basically make the argument that a modern 21st century democracy shouldn't have as head of state and sovereign someone who is there by basically genetic accident. but beyond that, there's obviously a great deal of support for queen elizabeth herself. but as opinion poll after pin poll has shown in the last few weeks also for the institution she's come to embody. for the monarchy. it doesn't half hurt that almost every other national institution and above all career politicians in this country have been undergoing a period of increasing disrepute. so against that background, i think it's a reminder that there is this one woman in this one institution that's somehow kind of abovehe fray.
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>> brown: that's what i was wondering. it comes amid, oh, you know, lots of economic uncertainty. you've got the hacking scandal. people can put all that aside for at least a few days and look to this one constant, as we heard in that piece. >> yeah, i think that's absolutely true. that captures it. i think one of the fascinating things is there was a reference to queen victoria, the last person to have served for 60 years on the british throne. when she came to her diamond jubilee, popularity... her popularity was kind of waning. she had become infirmed, something of a recluse. the opposite has happened for queen elizabeth. she is at the peak of her popularity. i think it was shown in two great traditions coming together. one this pomp answer moany and britain's better than almost anyone on the globe at that. and the old old british weather which of course gave us constant rain for the last four days.
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>> brown: ned temko in london, thanks so much. >> brown: online, there's more on all this, including a blog from our colleague mike mosettig who attended the festivities, and a talk with "global-post" reporter michael goldfarb. >> ifill: again, the major developments of the day: u.s. officials confirmed the al qaeda number two has died. pakistani officials said it happened in a u.s. drone strike in north waziristan yesterday. the path was cleared for the u.s. supreme court to hear a challenge to california's gay marriage law after a federal court declined to hear an appeal. and voters in five states went to the polls for primaries, including a recall effort for the republican governor of wisconsin. on our web site, we wrap up our series on rising seas along the gulf coast. hari sreenivasan has the details. >> sreenivasan: find out how some louisiana fishermen have adapted their homes to float when the mississippi river floods. that's on our homepage. you can see venus transiting the sun without damaging your eyes.
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watch live video online, plus an astronomy professor explains the last-in-a-lifetime event. and in our "vote 2012" map center, you can watch live results from the wisconsin recall election. that link is on our homepage. all that and more is on our web site, >> brown: and again to our honor roll of american service personnel killed in the afghanistan conflict. we add them as their deaths are made officl iad photographs become available. here, in silence, are nine more.
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>> ifill: and that's the newshour for tonight. on wednesday, we'll have the results of the wisconsin recall election and primary contests around the nation. i'm gwen ifill. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. we'll see you online, and again here tomorrow evening. thank you and good night. >> majoridovy:pr bednewsotur had
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