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tv   Bill Clinton Jeb Bush Education Discussion  CSPAN  November 30, 2019 1:38pm-3:11pm EST

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invitation for the president and his counsel to appear before the committee. with a letter to the president on our website watch the inquiry live on c-span3. or listen live on the c-span3 radio app. president clinton and jeb bush look back at the 1989 education summit. george and barbara bush foundation hosted this event along with the university of last year, when we gathered for this event, we did so far the first time since our passing of our dear friend, barbara bush. charlie after, president bush went into the great beyond. today, i ask we lower our heads up for a moment for the void
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left by the passing of these iconic americans and how lucky we were to have befriended them. [no audio] thank you. throughout the year, we honor president and missions bushes legacy -- bush's legacy, where the bush exhibit chronicles their love affair with maine, presidential years, and the bush connection with you wendy that she would any -- une. today, we had the incredible opportunity to examine a pivotal moment in american history, and of america's educational system. we gather to learn about -- and to commemorate, the 30th anniversary of president bush convening all u.s. governors to create a unified set of national educational goals. this work brought data and research at
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long last into the process of crafting educational policy. our event today will undoubtedly shed light on the strides we have made since september 27, 1989, when this historic meeting took place. we will also shine a light on the work left to be done. to introduce the event further and or millie introduce today's in special -- special guest, i invite the chairman of the george and barbara bush foundation and a nephew of president and misses bush. [applause] >> thank you, president herbert. lovely moment of remembrance as well. on behalf of the george and barbara bush foundation, i want to thank you president herbert and your team for
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producing this special and important event. i also want to thank the foundation for their generous foundation and of this event. at the george and barbara bush foundation, we believe the four years they served in the white house were four years that changed our lives for the better. president bush worked to secure freedom and the cold war without a single shot fired between the superpowers. he helped unify germany within nato and the division of europe. he forged and led an unprecedented coalition to reverse the brutal invasion of kuwait. also during the four years, in the white house and beyond, george and barbara bush helped change our country for the better. today, in this beautiful facility, we can see the impact of americans with disabilities act, the main
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air is always refreshing, especially today -- may maine -- maine air is always fresh and, especially day. -- today. smaug was choking our cities. no other issue affects our nation, people, and future more than education. we are delighted to be cohosting this important event as we look back at the ground breaking collaborative work of the 1989 education summit, but in classic george bush fashion, looking ahead to the challenges and opportunities that remain. convening this event under the distinguished lecture series seems poignant. this being the first such lasher -- lecture since we lost president bush last year. the
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bushes enjoy a wonderful -- enjoy wonderful relationship with the school and students. it's my great pleasure to introduce our distinguished moderator for today's events, one of the masterminds behind the 1989 education summit, professor roger porter. he serves as the business and government professor at the kennedy school. in 18 -- in 19 89, he was a senior advisor for the best policy. we could not be more pleased to have roger for our conversation today with our two distinguished speakers. i'm delighted to invite him to the stage. please welcome professor roger porter. [applause] >> it's a delight to be with you this afternoon. when people aspire to be president of the united states, they are required to give an explanation of what it is they want to do if they become president. when george huawei we bush sought the presidency -- george h w bush sought the presidency in 1988, he told the country he wanted to become the education president, the environmental president, and he wanted a kinder, gentler america. who better to tell us
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his vision for this summit than george w. bush himself. (music)
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>> the spirit of this summit is how can we get results? we are here to part progress before partisanship. the future before the moment, and our children before ourselves. now,... this is a time for action. i bility -- ideas.
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greater flex ability and use of federal funds while excepting enhanced accountability for the results. they have also stressed the high-priority helping prepare preschool children should have in federal standards. even times of fiscal constraints. finally, the the governors have articulated eloquently need to restructure our education system. begins today in charlottesville, virginia.
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a compact between parents, teachers, principals, superintendents, state legislators, governors and the administration. our compact is founded not on promises but on challenges. each one a radical departure from tradition. toope that you can join me define national goals and education for the first time. from this day forward, let us be an america of tougher standards, of higher goals, and a land of bigger dreams. [applause] [applause] >> you may well have wondered what those first two
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presidential summits with governors were. the first was the former governor of new york, teddy roosevelt, who, near the end of his second term, convened the governors and a group of other people in the white house for a conference on conservation and natural resources. the second one was another former governor of new york, franklin roosevelt, who invited his fellow governors to his inauguration, and asked them to stay over to the following monday so he could meet with
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them on a series of issues at the interface between the states and federal government. the third time, what we have come to call the charlottesville summit, the president's education summit with governors was front. it began early in his administration. and, it was not held in the east room of the white house, as the previous two summits had, but it was held at the university of virginia because president bush determined that he did not want this to be viewed as washington solving the nation's problems, nor did he want it to be viewed as being held in the white house. but instead, on the campus of an education institution that was near and dear to him, in part because his son marvin and daughter-in-law margaret had gone there, and in part because it was founded by one of his predecessors, thomas
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jefferson. to discuss what happened at that charlottesville summit and how it came about, we could not have any two finer individuals who have dedicated a great deal of their lives to promoting educational excellence in the united states. please join me in welcoming the 42nd president of the united states, bill clinton, and the 43rd governor of florida, jeb bush. [applause] [cheering] >> as i was mentioning, this summit was quite different. every summit has its context, and in 1983, president reagan had issued the nation's report card called a nation at risk, which suggested we had dramatic
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improvements that needed to be made in our education system. a series of governors who chaired the national governors association, lamar alexander and 8586, governor bill clinton, and 8687, johnson knew, the governor -- john sununu, the governor of california, and the white house chief of staff who was a major force in encouraging this
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summit. then, jerry of virginia, and he was succeeded by terry branstad of iowa on -- when president bush came into office. all of them were very eager to have governors involved in any discussions about education. so, president bush determined he in fact wanted this conference not to be his agenda, but a joint agenda. so, governor branstad appointed a task force on education, cochaired by governor clinton of arkansas, and governor carol campbell, a republican from south carolina. it's important to remember the national governors association, since it was created in 1908, has been a bipartisan organization, and has maintained that bipartisanship for more than a century, which is, at least in my view, very impressive. i would like to begin by asking president clinton to share with us his thinking, and the thinking of his fellow governors as we went into the process of deciding how we were going to make the best
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use of this time together for two days in charlottesville. >> thank you. first of all, thank you for doing this. i would like to thank the university of new england for hosting and governor, thank you for being here. former governor ball duchy is here i think. you set the stage well. i think it's worth emphasizing that by the time this meeting was called, at the uva, an enormous number of percentage of governors have been seriously on education. at least since the issuance of the national risk report of more than six years previous. 1982 -- and they were disproportionately concentrated in the south because it was the poorest part of the country. trying to catch up. and we believe, beyond any doubt, that we never would catch up or close out of the income or
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racial gaps -- close either the income or racial gaps without doing much better on education. in 1982, you had big initiatives coming out of florida and mississippi. then, we passed our initiative in 83, and alexander in tennessee did. jim hunt in north carolina did a lot of work. richard riley in south carolina did. then, you had a lot of interests outside of the country -- outside of the south. in colorado, for example, one of our best education governors was tom kane of new jersey. by 87, he and i took share of carnegie council group on middle school.
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first commission ever to recommend community service as a part of a curriculum of middle school education. so we were in this, but we were also frustrated, because most of us who had adopted standards and put in more money into education were having some success in recruiting and keeping better teachers who were doing a good job and developing principles and supporting schools with good cultures. but, we were having a hard time figuring out how you would take this unique system in america, which had local control, state, constitutional responsibility for education, and funding from the state, federal, and local levels, in a blinding array of different shades. and, turn it into something that would produce better results on the systematic basis. we had done all of this
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work, all of this good stuff that happened, our state went from being one of the lowest rated states to the country to the best-performing state in the midsouth, but we had the feeling we were in this big global race, and we weren't catching up really. that it was two steps forward, one step back. nobody could figure out how to put incentives to perform and improving the system, and accountability, and make it all work. i think it is worth pointing out that, even then, it was obvious nearly every challenge in american education had been met by somebody somewhere. you couldn't name anything where you couldn't find a school district to perform at worldwide levels. high worldwide
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levels. our ability to replicate excellence for a variety of reasons was stunted. we needed a new boost, and that is why i was so excited when president bush agreed to do this, and i know you and jonathan will have a lot to do with it, and the national governors association had a lot to do with it. mike cohen, he is here today too. we get addicted to this tougher life. at least we are not drug by pretenders. [laughter] but, that is what people need to know. there was remarkably
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little partisan difference. there were genuine differences in terms how much the federal government should give in money or how much the state should regulate local districts, or how teacher certification should be. all of the stuff we are still dealing with when he became governor, but there wasn't much partisan difference. and, i think president bush set the tone, and he wanted to meet with governors and i gave an opening statement to come here to praise the president. i got a message from a man in congress saying do
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you know what you're doing? i said yeah, this is a big deal. i said we need to grow up as a country, and rag on people in the other party when we agree with what they are doing and disagree with them honestly without being -- it's crazy. in other words, we all act like three-dimensional people instead of two-dimensional cartoons. i think there was a big appetite for it, but it sounds surprising now. it was normal then. cale campbell, my partner, you know, i have a great relationship with. he had to go home that night. terry branstad is now our ambassador to china, and he was the chairman of the governors conference, and he had basically decided he would stand in for those meetings we ran together, but he couldn't, for some reason, he couldn't be there when we started, and you said go and start, you know where we are, what we are different on and what we agree, so just go and get started. we don't want to waste time. i was -- i thought it was as normal as anything. he knew i wouldn't embarrass the president, him, or republicans, and i would be faithful to where i knew we had differences in positions, why give -- whether they were regulated party or not. it
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sounds unique today. it seemed >> it sounds unique today. it seemed normal to me and it needs to be normal again. [applause] ce where people simply gave speeches and listened to one another talk, but he wanted something concrete to emerge from it, so we organized these panels, which governors would sit around the table and >> president clinton, you will recall president bush was very intent that this not to be a conference where people simply gave speeches and listened to one another talk, but he wanted something concrete to emerge from it, so we organized these panels, which governors would sit around the table and discuss an issue before we had the plenty area session.
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20 statements are wonderful and this one was more than three pages in length. you cannot issue a joint --tement and tell everybody until everybody signs onto it. we did not want to have the president a -- and a few of the governors sign on. we wanted the president and all of the governors. campbell, governor campbell, and governor clinton had the responsibility of getting the republicans and democratic governors to sign on to this joint statement. would you like to share withgets what happened as you try to get this joint statement sign on by your fellow democratic governors? at you can tell how long it took to write it. >> when did we go to sleep?
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>> we finished at 3:10 in the morning. >> we were getting warmed up at that time. [laughter] say, it did not bother me as much as it did some people. it took a while to get this done. it took a well to get it done because we had so many people who had been involved in education. --did a lot a bipartisan johnson led a delegation to 1987 to study the economic organization of the medieval guilds in northern italy as they had been applied to the modern world to see if it was a good thing for the economic transformation going on in america.
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i went with three republicans. we had the time of our lives and we were serious. we worked. guys used to all these having an idea. everybody had an idea. they wanted their phrase in the final statement. we tried to do that. how unusually accommodating we were to each on thence we knew it was level. he would be amazed how much can you can do if you are convinced your counterparts are just on the level. silly, but it is true. i would see it and them all and they were all there. all the democrats were there except rudy per pitch, who i
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think had a family illness. >> he had a family illness and was not able to come. he was the only one. pres. clinton: so terry branstad was working with republicans and i had to work with the democrats . we worked through it. one interesting thing about these meetings, there were no staff allowed. it was governors only. i think roger was the only person from the white house there. >> and johnson. pres. clinton: sununu was great. we all knew him. how are we going to work, the fact we wanted every child to start school, ready to learn? what did that mean? how much would we say? how much would we not say? word makingoing to
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higher education available to all and affordable? what does that mean and how did you define the federal responsibilities so the democrats could get more money out of you and the president by overet in trouble committing to something? questions like this. we went through every one of them. 3:10, -- by 310, we were happy as the clam. [laughter] >> probably the single biggest , we were going to commit to establishing performance goals that would be embraced nationwide, but implemented by
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each state and each of the governors and we would hold ourselves accountable for that. it is one thing to articulate a set of goals, another thing to actually implement them. other big idea that came out of this is we were going to establish standards for what students should know and be able hold ourselves accountable for achieving those standards. bush, spent eight years as the chief executive of florida at a time when florida -- i think this is correct -- made larger moves and larger gains with respect to education than at any other time in its history. i think it would be interesting to hear from you, governor, as goals a state took these
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that were established and created a system whereby you could raise the level of student performance. gov. bush: thank you. it is great to be here. i appreciate the connection of the bush family to this university and that everybody is here to pay tribute to president clinton and my dad and my mom, who also played a role. i think president clinton and my data set the example of how you can have a different view but be good friends. [applause] gov. bush: what i loved about the charlottesville event, it did not prescribe how to do it, but it created national aspirations. sometimes we get mixed up to
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think the federal government is the end-all and be-all, but public leaders can create goals, its, audacious does not have to be a federal program, it can be something where millions of people buy into it. i don't think there is anything more important than treating an aspiration that every child reaches their ability, they have the ability to dream big dreams, they are capable of pursuing many options in their life and that starts with pre-k through 12 education and reforming the system was important. in florida, we took the idea of robust accountability and high standards. we also implemented choice in education that created a pressure for the system to adapt to all this. we ended social promotion and third grade -- to me, if you had to pick the one policy that really matters, it is to usher a third grader by the end of their
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time in third grade knows how to read. in fourth grade, you are reading to learn. if you cannot read by fourth grade, you cap do -- cannot do math or science. we were all in on that subject. we created all sorts of support for this robust accountability system. started by what happened in charlottesville. i say in the 1990's, when you where president, jim hunt and my brother probably had the strongest accountability measures and we stole those and put them on steroids. the result was for that was 50th out of 50 states in the graduation rate. in florida graduated in 1998. pretty pathetic. we had a 30 point again. now 85% i think graduate. card test, we went
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from 29th out of 31 in fourth grade reading to seventh or sixth out of 50 states. we are 60% in a free reduced lunch. the mythology around kids not being able to learn over there life circumstances has been challenged. if it was not for this consensus about accountability and higher expectations, it would be harder to do. one of the other things that emerged from the summit, which president bush was happiest about, and if i recall correctly, you supported enthusiastically, was a commitment from all the governors that they would restructure education in their states. most organizations spend a lot of the time doing the same thing
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they have been doing over and over again. periodically, we needed to step back and take a look at whether or not there is in fact a better way to do this. you need a catalyst in order to do that. that was one of the big outcomes of the charlottesville summit, a commitment. do you want to share how you got the governors to buy into that? i was obsessed with this. it did not matter whether you could have a national -- in japan, they can have national standards and essay this is how it will be done. -- always had a tradition of different cultures and different states and growing diversity only made it more so.
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but we knew one thing. we had toat restructure, not the schools, but the school districts. so we emphasize accountable todership and we are able keep good teachers and one of the goals was to bring more parents into the school on a systematic basis. school -- under one of the rules, the state said, to make a commitment to getting better. the most frustrating thing was -- imagine any other endeavor in america. if you are running any operation and you had 100 parts to it, and you knew they all had the same thing to do, same thing 100
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different places, and you knew 10 of them were doing better than anybody else in the world and were more than willing to have everybody come study it and have it copied and adapted, and yet, you could not replicate excellence, i would imagine it would drive you nuts. it did me. but, i also had to face the fact that there were different reasons it did not. if i can't give you an example how this played out after charlottesville, you guys kept your word, you did agree to give more flexibility to the states funds inenting special early grades where it was questionable that you could properly identify children as .pecial ed eligible and some other things.
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districts.ral school very poor. started having stunning results. one in early childhood education where your department of education gave us the authority to take all the special edit andy -- special at money spend it kindergarten through third grade in making the classes smaller. putting everybody together. than 15. teachers aides to make it smaller. asn the children, as early first and second grade, who were the best readers, were being used as tutors to teach the others. this one school district figured it out on its own and you gave them permission to try. performance as far
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as we can measure it, even in first grade reading, added the yeare who were held back a tripled their spirited -- tripled there's. naively, sent a letter to all my school district and said, we have a waiver from the federal government, they did this, and here are the results. it and we will pay your way. happened in another poor district, the dropout rate was a committed teacher who realized, if you cannot read in third grade, you will start to fail. if you cannot read fairly well by the eighth grade, that is whether the dropout rate really picks up. this guy got it. he was a ninth grade teacher.
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he started requiring every student -- he talked for classes -- he talked for classes. to write a biographical essay every day. even if they could not spell, punctuate. he made them write something about their lives. every night, he took those allrs home, and graded them because he was determined to find a way to save these kids that were failing. the dropout rate was one of the highest in the state. it dropped to zero. all of his kids stayed all the way. someone was correcting it, it happened. government will pay. only 10% of my school districts took advantage of coming there. i was apoplectic.
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make,int i am trying to charlottesville -- this charlottesville meeting and what came out of it put us on a long road we are still on, trying to figure out how much of what we need as a financial issue, how much of what you need -- what we need is an accountability issue. but we know one thing. massachusetts, for example, which started later than most state -- on a bipartisan fashion in it not just full of people whose parents went to harvard, they got the kids -- if they were a separate nation, they would have one of the 10 best school systems in the world. it is because they started 25 years ago.
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the role of schools in creating to make people want to be teachers, want to study, get parents involved. solving a better job of with the resources they had. why aren't people doing what works? it all began there. we are ready for another big leap. field us who work in this cannot point to successes and failures, but the kids deserve our best efforts to keep trying. if you ask me -- my great disappointment and a great source of optimism is for all these years, i am positive that children from low income
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and people who had to overcome enormous obstacles and perform at height -- can perform at high levels. my great frustration is, when i look around america and see some of the finest schools in the world, and i look at a country like finland. it has one of the best school systems in the world. i know it is small. but it has 45 different ethic groups. everybody wants to be a teacher. leave having people teaching at a record rate. that is where i leave it with all of you. we have done our best with what we knew at the time. we loved it. but we are still not as good as we need to be at replicating excellence. we can do this quicker than we think if we ever figured out the answer to that. thingsof the interesting about the charlottesville summit
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is it helped to promote andussion of fresh ideas one of the panels we discussed in a charlottesville was about choice and restructuring. governor bush, you have a lot of experience seeing how choice works, both public school choice and toys in general. -- choice in general. your father was interested in this. can you share your experience with choice and how it works? gov. bush: i don't know if you can see the tire mark on my forehead. [laughter] talking about choice in education is good and important. acting on it can be a violent act sometimes. i do think, to the point of why is it our systems do not it isate the excellence, there. president clinton is right. across this country there are
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extraordinary examples of committed principals and teachers, where the outcomes of achievement for their students are good. plusld argue, 13,000 government run when a place is not the best model to decide the fate of this diverse group of iildren that as a society, think we have a moral and economic obligation to make sure they are college or career ready by the time they get to 12th grade. power to parents, making sure they are informed parents, they have choices, but it is more than just -- they need to know about what the choices are, is a catalyst for the kind of innovation i think will be necessary going forward. in florida, we have universal pre-k, the largest voucher program in the country. there are like what
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50,004-year-olds -- 150,000 four-year-olds. we have a corporate tax scholarship program that has 110,000 student going to private schools. we have 330,000 students going to charter schools. we have the largest virtual school. 50% of all students are in a school that has been picked by their parent, not selected by the school district. stated -- i am prone to bragging about this because i was born in texas. [laughter] gov. bush: we had improvement particularly among low income kids. i do think robust accountability, real standards that are measurable, a consequence between failure and excellence, rewards for improvement, all those things matter. but a catalyst to accelerate
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is great,l that stuff but alongside tom that alongside that, we needside to have -- we probably have too many choices in our lowers these days. this is the one place where a child is assigned. that is the american way. i have always rejected that. had a risinge student achievement. had we not, those programs would have died. stuff, years of this there is huge support amongst low income families that no one will take these things away anymore because it has worked. -- you have the empowerment political empowerment of parents saying, i wanted this. we continue to add to the programs because of it. >> one of the things we talked
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about, kids with learning disabilities, the federal law requires an individual education act.under the civil rights in florida, if you, as a parent, the fiercest parents are the ones who have children with learning disabilities. they are awesome. they have to protect their children. in florida, they do not have to argue with the lawyer of the school district or the principal of the school. if their iep is not being met, they can take the state and local dollars, dollar per dollar, and go to any school of their choice public or private. i think the federal government ought to add to that. 10% of the money that comes down for kids with learning disabilities, both parents are deserving to be in the front of the line. [applause]
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pres. clinton: for a democrat, i got a pretty good credentials on this issue. there was one charter school in america when i became president. 2000.rted about by the time i left office, i left money for 1000 more. now there are 66,000 in the country. i took your money and formed the first charter school in miami. i appreciate it. pres. clinton: here's the deal. like every thing else, once every institution tends to become institutionalized -- what up thed is, when we set charter schools, the deal was supposed to be, you can keep this charter as long as you do as well or better as your public school option and there is a demand for your service. also supposed to come up
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by us letting you a loan and freeing you of rules and , take the benefits of what you have learned in the school and share it with others. the breakdown in the charter that, once you have been in business for a while, you acquire your own consistency, you get to keep your own charter whether you are performing well or not, and according to a study by the gates foundation, no more than 1% of charter schools had tried to offer ongoing, working partnerships with other public schools. the one exception was after the 2008, in crash in rhode island, rhode island was
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the third hardest hit state in the country. everybody was going broke. educators got together and started working together, sharing their insights. is what i about this saw a news report. they were saying, they thought it helped education in both the charter and public schools because they were working together. say, the way you have been doing it does not make sense anymore. and 1000 other things. i would like to see more of that. at charlottesville, one of the big issues that governors question ofas the strings attached by the federal government with the money's coming in. we had talked before that there
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was not a lot of money available at the federal level. anothert bush proposed half $1 billion when he came in that was hard to bring out of the budget. but got that from. in the discussions leading up to the summit, we made it clear that we had deficits to share but we did not have surpluses to share. thereore, the expectation was going to be a big outburst of federal spending was unrealistic. haveur credit, we did not one of the six discussion groups talking about federal spending. but we did have one talking about federal mandates and strings attached and at the end when we were discussing
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it with president bush, he said, what are you going to do about that? we said, we are going to go to the governors association and have a governors tell us in detail every string they would like to see lucinda. -- c loosened. we will send a report card as to whether we feel we cannot lose that string or not. and we did. the governors association came up with over 400 examples of strings they wanted lucinda. d. wanted loosene i wish i were making this up. and agenciestments were onboard. we looked at every one of them. about a third of the cases, we could loosen the strings. everyone but one, we did. in the other two thirds of the
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cases, the strings were mandated by law and we were told by the departments and agencies, you cannot loosened the string because it is clear and specific and the underlying legislation about that it has to be this way. to you and your colleagues and said, will you go with us to congress to try to get these relaxed? governors.ation's whatu want to share happened when we went to the congress to do that? [laughter] pres. clinton: some of them did not like it very much. [laughter] say, clinton: i have to this is maybe a partisan perspective and i don't mean it to be. i tell you what the members of congress were about.
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they think, i cannot run anything, but i am not in charge of operating anything. as a member of congress, i cannot guarantee a school -- i recognize i maybe need to get out of the way and not cause sureems, but i can make that if the money is supposed to be spent on poor kids, it is not going to be taken and spent on something else. there is something to be said for that. did the welfare reform bill in 1994, i had given 40 states waivers to do welfare. it is the same principle. people from welfare to work. transportation,
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support, everything else. beentheless, when i had out of office eight years or 10 years, eight states had managed to do away with any cash welfare benefit. they were still getting the money they got when welfare rolls were at an all-time high. -- thesay, the congress truth is, we would cap the welfare cap to the state in february of 1994 because it was the all-time high. office,ime i left federal rules dropped 60%. if you are not careful how you work those things, clever governors will take the money away from poor people and spend it on something else. that happened. if we were to do this again and the to do a better job, at
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time we did it in at charlottesville, most of us were any good faith and wanted to spend that money on education. gave you two examples of what i wanted to do and you let me do it and i am grateful. we need to have a record here. one of the obligations of the federal government is too close, as it is possible, the gap between the very poor and not so very poor people in public help ton and to give deal with special needs kids. i don't care what anyone tells you, for all the frustrations, one of the greatest successes of american education that we have ,iven kids with special needs to learn and do and grow.
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is it more complicated? yes. it is worth and convenience from the rest of us. anyway, you have to be careful -- [applause] >> at the summit, we agreed as part of the joint statement to establish a set of national education goals. these goals where going to be developed jointly by the governors and the president. we were hopeful to be able to announce them in the president's state of the union address in january. the conference was held the seven and 28 of september, that gave us october, november, december, and a chunk of january to get this done. goals and embraced
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one of the most important things to come out of the summit, which is we will try to improve holdnt performance and people accountable. if you hold them accountable, there has to be some standard. one of the goals -- interestingly enough, there were people falling over themselves wanting to have their hobbyhorse be one of the goals. in one of our early meetings, i can't remember which of us brought it up first, but we agreed we had to have a limited number of goals. if we have more than a handful, no one will be able to remember everything. we had a too narrow it down. one of those goals was going to goals were not going to be set for a year from now or two years from now or three years from now, but making
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this change in education is going to take at least a decade, so we targeted all the goals by the year 2000. was, byof those goals in ther 2000, students fourth, eight, and 12th grades will be able to demonstrate competence in english, math, science, history, and geography. the impetus for that goal wasn't -- was ityou had done something you had done in arkansas with students in the eighth grade. i think it would be interesting for you to share with people what you instituted as governor transformed arkansas. pres. clinton: i think we were the first state to have an eighth-grade exit test. you had to pass to go into high
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school. -- notd at all these just arkansas, but the whole country, that is where the drop out of space -- about rates might. ander hold these kids back do summer school or whatever meant to keep shoveling them into high school if they could not read appropriately. they were probably going to drop out anyway and not get the benefits of an education. that is one thing we did that work. i did not favor tests every year. reasons said, boy fourth grade is important, if great is important, to upgrade is important. , newwe did in arkansas york made this thing famous. decades ago.
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decided that it would be better to give the tests and the 11th grade and not close the door when the cow is already out . --t way, we cannot require we can require kids to do mediation in the summer and hopefully graduate on time. preparedd our on-time high school graduation rate to do it. the eighth-grade thing i thought was important. i learned a lot a couple years earlier. -- it is over 60 years ago. i forgot how is her bowl i was when i was 13 years old. -- i forgot how miserable i was when i was 13 years old. [laughter] think it is called puberty.
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[laughter] pres. clinton: that too. i had a tough time. a lot of kids do. there is a lot of stuff going on. including biological things. [laughter] trying to get that right was one of the more important things we did. we try to get that right. i think, whatever did or did not happen, i think, most places it is better than it would have been otherwise. i think we are having too much trouble recruiting and keeping good teachers and we need to pay them more and we have to make other adjustments -- [applause] pres. clinton: but i think, we
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cannot be in denial about these things. i spent part of the time later in the massachusetts school system because i was impressed by how well they were doing. i think they -- every one i had had highthey clearly standards, but also had individual cultures and the schools where the teachers felt ownership, respected the leaders, and parents felt at home. two get going on that again, where everybody believes they are not down, not threatened, they feel like, we are going to make something good. have aools have to culture of commitment to excellence. jeb bush was right.
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an antitrust model does not necessarily work, but if you have a monopoly on customers and revenues, it reduces incentives not having a product as good as it should be. you can say that, but there are other things too. that is what we tried to address. them do ite to see again. every 30 years, we ought to do it again. we did not know the first thing about artificial intelligence. >> do you think president trump would stay in a meeting for two days? [laughter] [applause] pres. clinton: all i want to do is make sure it is being covered by the press that we attribute that quote -- [laughter] [applause] gov. bush: i think we are on the
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same list as him. pres. clinton: anyway. [laughter] else thats something we should not forget. a famous letter that abigail adams wrote to her husband when he was at the constitutional convention. phrase,uded that remember, don't forget the ladies. [applause] >> interestingly, at the summit, the spouses of the governors where there and the first lady, barbara bush, hosted them for a series of discussions and events so they felt included.
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indeed, it is the tort and barbara bush foundation -- george and barbara bush foundation, because this was a couple committed to education, and it seems to me there is no one better than barbara bush to share some of her ideas with us on education. [video clip] considerf you will making three special choices. the first is to believe in something larger than yourself. get involved in some of the big ideas of our time. i chose literacy because i believe if more people could read, write, and comprehend, we would be that much closer to solving so many of the problems that plagued our nation and our society. that you are talking about
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education, career, or service, you are talking about life, and life must have joy. it is supposed to be fun. at the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. you will regret time not spent with a husband, child, friend, or parent. thank you, god bless you, and may your future be worthy of your grades. [applause] >> governor bush, you know your father and mother better than anyone else in this audience.
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perhaps you could share with us what you think caused them both to be as genuinely interested in education as they were. these are individuals -- this was not a fleeting thing. this was a lifelong passion. maybe you can help share with us where that came from. gov. bush: i think it is mom-driven. dad had a lot of interests. my mother was very passionate about this. from being a young mother all the way through when she had the chance to serve as first lady. afterwards, for the rest of her life, she was committed to family literacy, which is essential for us as a nation and to get beyond the silos of the different buckets, pre-k, k12, everybody has their own ecosystems. this should be lifelong.
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the first teachers of every child are their parents. if they cannot read, that make it harder for children to start school ready to learn. she believed that to her core. she acted on it and drew a bunch acted on it and drew a bunch of people to this cause. my sister is the chairman of the proper bush family literacy foundation. it is the most important organization of its kind that is working nationally to do great things, including family literacy, which i think is a cool idea. when you think of all the people newly arrived to our country in the last generation, many came with literacy skills in their own native tongue not that good and were behind in english. crating a strategy around every person to give them -- creating a strategy to give everybody a way to pursue their dreams, that
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is what barbara bush believed. i am proud to be her little boy. [applause] gov. bush: i will say one other thing, president clinton and i had something in common. we were both on moms that list occasionally. i think i was on it more, but you were on it. trust me. [laughter] pres. clinton: i said last night, there were points of at the united states intrepid, which is in new york, on the river. we had a dinner for the points of light foundation. the interesting thing about barbara bush, she could look at know -- i got your
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number. [laughter] pres. clinton: but i like you anyway. [laughter] pres. clinton: you would breed this huge sigh of relief. -- believe that this huge sigh of relief. i remember those nights. would get us together and we had dinner one night. night at the education .ummit president bush and barbara bush were talking about the impact of child health on a child learning. eric mentioned in passing she was worried about the fact -- hillary mentioned in passing that she was worried about the
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fact that infant mortality rate was 18th in the world, too high. dataset, that cannot be. -- your dad said, that cannot be. your mom said, it is. you want me to get you the information? she said, i spent a year at the health study center, this is what i do. i said, i am the president, can get good information. he says, i will do it. sitting there like watching a tennis match. saying, let's get back to reading. when we switch tables, your dad came up to me writtenote that he had
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to hilary saying, thank you for telling me that, you were right and i will see what i can do about it. why am i telling you this? that is the way we had to treat each other. there is no republican or democratic away for a baby to die. or live. [applause] pres. clinton: there is no republican or democratic way to teach an emigrant to read english. haso make sure a child who minor learning disabilities overcomes them in time to catch up in reading levels. whated to remember, remember -- what matters to us in life requires us to reaffirm our common humanity.
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both of them did that. that is what barbara was saying in this speech about literacy. that was her all day every day. i thought it was great. [applause] >> one of the issues that came up after these three months of negotiations on coming up with the national education goals that were signed up by all the governors,nation's we had all the governors to sign onto them. then we have the question, where are we going to announce these? the governors association has an annual meeting in february. the state of the union address is typically in the third week of january. where are we going to announce these? a bunch of your colleagues
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wanted them announced at the national governors association meetings. in ourthe position discussions and the governors association is wonderful, but people do not pay attentions -- attention to their meetings like people do the union -- state of the union address. let me see if i can get agreement that we'll will include the announcement of these national education goals as part of his first state of the union address in 1990. when the answer came back yes, we can do that, you said, well, could we get 50 seats for the 50 governors so they could be there to watch it? clinton, we dor not control the gallery in the
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house of representatives for the sake of the union where it is addressed. if you want to get each of the governors to talk to their senator or representative and get them invited, that would be one thing. maybe we do not have to have all 50. aboutrst lady's box has 30 seats and normally it is cabinet spouses. i can gett me see if four seats. the reason i wanted to get for chairman and vice chairman, then you and governor campbell and myself had done a lot of a negotiation. it was clear there were four governors who played a larger role in developing these goals. lady and ihe first
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seats?ould we get four she said yes. what then happened, when the president found out, he said it is great. why don't we have the governors right up with us and the motorcade to the capital, not just show up on their own? i said, that is a great idea. you tovited the four of come to the white house mess to have a meal before we were going to get in the motorcade, which makeoing to be at 815, and our way up? we are sitting there. we were sitting there in the
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white house mess and the phone rings. the steward brings it over and handed to me. it is unusual to have a phone handed to you in the middle of a meal. it was the president. having dinnerou with your governor friends? he reverted to the four of you as your governor friends. i said yes. he said, would you like to bring them over? i said, bring them over where? he said, over to the residence. i set, of course. when would you like us there? he said, as soon you can get here. we quickly finished the meal. at the meal, i handed to the the of you the embargo of remarks of the state of the union address so you could read through it and see exactly what he was going to say and the fact
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sheet that accompanied it so you were comfortable with everything that was going out. if you look at the embargoed release, your names are not mentioned. residence,to the maybe you would like to share -- if i were getting ready to give a state of the union address, i would not other people coming. i would want peace and quiet. and governord you andstad, governor campbell, you had that first conversation, probably in the family quarters. you had your first conversation with him. i remember how gracious he was in a the four of you for all the work you invested in developing these education goals. pres. clinton: i remember that
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like it was yesterday. i remember sitting there at the state of the union address and thinking, this might really amount to something. this might really translate into change thehat will future for our kids. >> and his delivered state of ,he union address, he paused looked up into the first lady's box, and called each of you by name, and thank you before the nation for all the work you invested in bringing about these education goals. the big lesson i learned from that, if you are not concerned about who gets the credit, if you are willing to work with others and share with them what you are doing, the likelihood is you will find a lot of common ground between yourself and them and things are going to go
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better. i do not know of anyone i have ever had the privilege of working with who did that better than george h.w. bush. [applause] >> i want to provide an opportunity for each of you to provide us with some final thoughts. what came out of the charlottesville summit, rb on the right path -- are we on the vita path? what else do we need to be doing? what kind of legacy have four and barbara bush left -- george and barbara bush left for us that are still here. i would say the legacy of charlottesville is the important one, apart from the
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lofty aspirations for the country to make this a priority, was that you had every governor, minus one, and the president, a diverse group of people, coming together in a bipartisan or nonpartisan way to say this is important to do. ourope and prayer -- country does well when we do that. when we agree, we do not fight. we can fight about things we do not agree on. the people that disagree should not be considered your enemy. today, we are in these tribal camps where consensus cannot be people view someone that disagrees with them as an enemy rather than someone who just might have a different view. charlottesville proves you can go a different path. our country needs that right now. we need to at least focus -- [applause]
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and about my parents, the last year they both -- they both passed away, the outpouring of love for the people, thousands and thousands of friends, but just in general, the belief that you can be civil to one another, you can be kind and generous, you can treat people the way you would want to be treated, these are virtues that are timeless and they are really important. and i think we should start punishing the politicians that if you're them, and start rewarding the politicians that do differently. [applause] pres. clinton: i think charlottesville shows that, first, that the political system and the people operating within
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it, can respond to a great national challenge in an almost completely positive way. and can highlight their differences in a non-attacking way that enables us to have honest debate. it is actually stipulating to get into a constructive argument with someone you disagree with, and if you just don't call them a name right off the bat -- [laughter] four assume they've got lucifer locked up in the closet, [laughter] you would be amazed what happens. so this was the first time the nation's governors and the president ever asked for a national education goal. and we were able to do it without everyone getting allergic about it, national government trying to take over
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education, or the state government trying to take over the school district and all that. everybody knew we were living in fateion, and the nation's still mattered, and we were more conscious of it by the late 1980's because of the globalization of the economy. and we knew we were in a competitive race for the future. so you could live in arkansas or alaska, but you knew in a way that we rarely feel, except at war, that we were in a nation. and how we stacked up and would relate to this whole new world depended in no small measure on whether we provided the ability for our youngest children. and that was one of the biggest things about this, by the way. this is the first education deal like this where we said, we've got to get kids ready for school. there's got to be something in kindergarten and even before.
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and we also recognized, as you said, governor, that lifelong learning was important. as far as i know, this was the first big statement that really said look, this is no easy out here. we are not giving you the solution to a problem. we are asking you for a commitment to a process of excellence that will last a lifetime. so that, to me, is a big take away. the first time we had national goals. the first time governor said that educators were right, we have to restructure the school system, but that may include some giving on their part too. and then you have all of these politicians that, many who like to talk more than they like to do. and there they were, all of us, saying in that statement we wrote until 3:00 in the morning, we commit to be held personally accountable for what this is doing, and you have every right to look at what we do from here
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on out, and make your own judgment about whether it is consistent with the words that here, above our signatures. that was unheard of at the time. like i said, i think it would be a good idea for people to know more about it than i do now, and are up to date on it to revisit this. we should probably do this for our education system at least every 30 years. but i think it was wonderful, and i will always be grateful to president bush, to johnson new ununu, to youn s for not only doing it, but going , through it. you could call this meeting -- he could have come in and given a pro forma speech, nobody would ever have said a bad word about him. and we could have thrown together something that did not require us to stay up until 3:00 in the morning. no, really. and it wouldn't have amounted to
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a hill of beans, but you are looking at what all of these governors did, and then the ones who were not there who were sitting there like you. it changed the definition of what being a governor was. you could not be a decent governor, at least in our part of the country, you could not cross the threshold of acceptability unless you were serious about helping education, unless you are serious about kids' futures. that was a huge thing. and it still is. it remains one of the great moments of my life. i will always be grateful. we were laughing coming in roger , and i, we went through campaigns together, or not together. [laughter] and then he was on the white house fellows program when i was president, he agreed to serve. picked the white house fellows. jeb said he spoke to him.
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we have been through all this . and the one thing you know is, you can tell when somebody is serious or not and you can tell when you have a remote chance of changing somebody else's life. and once you have done this enough, it does not take long to know. i was in charlottesville not very long. it helped because of the meetings we had when i knew, it didn't matter if we agree on everything. everybody was committed to making a difference. everybody was committed to building a better future. and i think we did. i think we made a difference. do i think there is a heck of a lot still to do? yes. would i like to see a bunch of younger people and the governorship in the congress or whatever is appropriate, to do this again? i would. but i will never forget that george was the person to do it
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and give us a chance to help. and we made america a better place because of that, i believe. roger: thank you very much. [applause] this clearly was a summit worth celebrating. please join me in thanking president clinton and governor bush for sharing their ideas and insights with us tonight. [applause] president clinton, and governor bush, and professor porter, thank you so much, on the entire community for the very inspiring conversation. really appreciate it. and on behalf of the university, i have a small token for each of you.
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these are, by the way, these are socks, ok? we all need socks. at -- thesecks came are socks, they are you any socks,hat they are une but they were designed by your father, george herbert walker bush. and they actually -- a true story -- and if you look inside the sock, they have his initials inscribed, because he actually designed to the socks. we so much appreciate you being here. thank you all for coming and please have a wonderful evening. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [applause] rg]
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[applause] >> sunday night at 9:00 p.m. eastern, four campaign 2020, c-span speaks with candidates deval patrick and michael bennet. patrick talks about his friendship with president obama and his late entry into the crowded field of presidential candidates. >> i think the primary electorate was not settled. it has been more confirmed in the visits i have had since announcing, in new hampshire, california, nevada, south carolina. i think there is a lot of room for folks who want both an ambitious agenda and a record of delivering. >> at 9:30, senator michael
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bennet on why he decided to run for president, his leadership style and his stance on policy issues. have important the idea of america is for people struggling to be free all over the world. and it is not that we are perfect, far from it, but we are a beacon to the rest of the world. and i think, i believe, reestablishing our place in the world is going to be one of the things the next president is going to have to do. >> watched c-span this weekend. >> presidential candidate senator elizabeth warren holds a town hall in iowa city at the university of iowa on monday. watch live coverage at 4:45 p.m. eastern on c-span, online on or listen live on the free c-span radio at. -- cap. joining us this morning -- free c-span radio app. n, here in washington, the brennan center for justice,


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