tv PBS News Hour PBS December 21, 2009 7:00pm-8:00pm EST
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions want a key test vote on heal care reform toda >> ifill: i'm gw ifill. on the nshour tonight, the stage is set for a critical christmas eve vote >> brown: we'll lk to senators sherr brown and lindsey graham aut the bill's components, cpromises and polics. >> ifill: th thousands of iranns turn a funeral for a dissident clic into a full-
scale street protest. rgaret warner looks at what's next for the oppotion inran and their supporters here. >> brown: what hapned in copenhagen andhat now. >> now it's to people to come together because we need a deal that iseal. >> brown: ray suarez jt back from the climate summit plains. >> ifill: and wel take a second look atohn merrow's reports on an attempto overhaul aajor urban school syem, whatever it takes. >> compassion . i think that when u're doing the kind of rk that i'm doinin public education where the lives and th futures children hang in the balae, you cannot ..you can't pl with that. >> bro: that's all ahead on tonight'pbs newshour. >> major funding for t pbs newshour majofunding for the pbs newshour is ovided by:
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>> and bank of america. and the william and flora hewlt foundation, working to solve social and eironmental proble at home and around the world. and with the ongoing sport of these initutions and foundations. and... this program w made possible byhe corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributio to your pbs station from viewers likyou. thank you. >> brown: sete democrats eared the way today to approve their heal care reform bil they did it with a mdle of the night pay-line vote to force an end tdebate. wshour health correspondent betty anne bowser beginsur coverage. >> the clerk will callhe roll.
>> mr. .... >> reporter: the vote ca shtly after 1:00 this morning. 60-40 to shut wn a republican filibuster. democrats like tom harkiof iowa celebrated. >> we'll get ts passed befo christmas. and it will be one of the be christs presents this congress has ever ven the americaneople. reporter: hours later at e white house president obama praised what he called an hisric vote. and he touted thweekend analysis from th congressional budg office saying the senate measure woulreduce the deficit. >> for all those who are continually carpinabout how this is sohow a big-spending government bill, this cutsur deficit by $132 billn the first teyears and by over a trilon in the second. that aument that opponents are making againsthis bill does n hold water. >>eporter: according to cbo estimates the sete bill wod cost $781 billion over
ten years. it wld also cover 31 million uninsured americans. mandate that iividuals buy insurance or pay fine. provide tax credits to low income americans thelp them affo coverage, and create an inrance exchange where those who don'get coverage through their employers n shop for a plan. the bill does not include government-run plic insurance opon. and does not allow people as young as 55 to buin early to medicare, a proposal floated in recent weeks. instead,t envisions nearly half trillion dollars in dicare spending cuts to help fund t new coverage. publicans like john mccain of arizona warned today itll means years of pain fore any benefits >> it's one of the great bernie madoff gimmicks tt i'vever seen, that anybody has ever seen. if theill were signed by the prident on the first of january, the taxes would kk
in andhe medicare cuts and other cutsould kick in and it wouldn't be fouyears later that any othe benefits begin to accrue. what is that that's nuty stuff. and by t way, it's unacceable. >>eporter: while the drama of majority leer harry reid scouring theemocratic ranks for the one finavote he need was unfolding inside, outside the catol was broughto its knees by a blinding swstorm. reed finally gothat 60th vote from nebraska'sen nelson. nelson madhis support known sarday morning. >> wle each of my colleagues may differ on how to fix the system , i ow of no members who arsuggesting that the currt system is satisfactory. i knowf no member who doesn't think that we need t change our health ca system. where we dfer-- and i say so th great respect to all of my colleagues on bh sides of the aisle-- is in e way we
fix our health care system >> repter: to get nelson on bod, reed had to include stricter language on abortn coverage in his nal amendments as a result, the bl allows states to opt out of plans that cover aboion in the new insurance exchanges anthose who enroll in plans at cover the procedure would have to pay for it sepately. neon also won a commitment from the feder government to cover the entire cosof nebraska's medicare exnsion under the bill in perpuity. senate minority leader mitch mcconnell blastethe deal- making at a sunday afterno news conference. >> let me ju say that the x payers of kentucky are not excited, not at l excited, about having to underwte the special deals that we aprently made for nebraska, vermont, and we now len maybe massachusetts. so i'm goingo remind the tax payers of our ate that
th're subsidizing these other threstates because thr senators apparently extracted a ice for passin this bill. >> reporr: even with the deal, nels and independent democrat josh lieberman warned that the senate legislation must not be altered substantially when it's merged wi the more libel house bill. the american medical association joined tay in supporting the sene version after refung to back the house bill. meanwhile, rd said talk about a conference w premature. >> we have to pass thibill in the senate first. that is our direction. that is our guidinlight. we'll rry about next steps a later time. >> repter: the next step in the path to passing a bill cometomorrow morning when the senate will ta another procedural vote. >> ifill: we have our n dete on the mer is of the senate bill and what it migh take to get a fil bill to the president's desk. sherd brown is a democrat from ohio and is a memr of thsenate's health committee
and lisey graham is a republican from sout carolina. he's a member of the senate' dget committee. gentlemen, we just hea ben nelson, thfamously sought-off senator om nebraska, say this weend that this is not about whether the heth care system gets fixed but the wa you fithe health care syst. so was this, as rry reid put it today, e grand compromise of the senate or w it just back room dealing at its worst? senator brow >> it was a good comomise. i n't like some of the deals that were made. i don'like the deal that was ma on abortion. i thk that that compromises a woman's right to choose. i think that i don't like that the public oion is no longer in or the medica buy-in. i don't ke some of the other things. but overalthis bill makes a big difference. strengthens medicare. it provides tax centives to small business so they can begin to coverheir employs. most small businesses want t do that. i thinthis legislation is importt when you look at the inrance reform. immediately going into efft next yr when the president
signit is no longer allowing a child to be. a child with a e-existing condition to losehe insurance for the family. i mean we're goingo prohibit that. no more discriminaon between where womepay more for the same policy a man has. no me lifetime limits where someone ts sick and their health ce costs are so high that the insurce company cuts them off. and in tms of medicare we're going to be giving annual check-ups, close the donut hole so seniorwon't pay so much out of cket for prescription drugs andhis fothe first time unlike the 2003 drug company insurance company bill thapresident bushushed through, this bill actually lengthens the lif expectancy of medicare. the deals noithstanding this bill is good for the cntry in so many ways. >> ifillsenator gram, let's pick up on tt. is this bi good for the cotry or our objections to this are what's in ior the way it wasone? >> i thi it's both. this wholedea that we're going to do busine
differently resote s with e american people. i think we kind ofet them down her we're going to be trsparent negotiations on healthare. they we even going to be on c-span according to present obama. at the end of the dawhat ppened was they got the 60th vote behind closed doors there was no republins in the room. no docrats really. this is thold way of doing business on stoids. the nebraska deais not going to go well with the erican people. i'going to have a hard time going back to uth carolina and say that our micare rolls are going to eand by 500,000 people. 30% of my state is aican- american. a lot of low-income pele. a loof particularly low-income african-amerans. my state is at 12% unemployment. the matchi portion for south carolina igoing to increase by a billion dollars b if you live in nebraska, e new enrollees in medicaid there will be pa for by the federagovernment in peetuity. i dot think most americans feel like that's a change that we can believe in. buthat's just one problem. the assumpon in this bill to get it to redung the deficit isot going to happen.
we're not going to cut medicare b$470 billion. fo years ago we tried to reduce iby $10 billion and codn't get the votes. that's an ilsion. thers $247 billion of doctors' cutto come over the next ten years. that wasn't factored i >> ifill: ere are a lot of americans who ok at this and say this is whatappens all the me on capitol hill. deals are cut. pele benefit. what's unusual about this on >> what's unusual about this is themerican public is tired of doing tt way of doing buness. theylected to president oba to change that. what happened tohe change you can believe in the one reason ihink he won more than all hers is he presented a fresh ce, a new way of doing busines the end of the day we've let the public down. we're going to ps a bill that chaes one-sixth of the economy on partisalines. when micare passed there were 21 no votes, 79 yes votes. when socl security passed the were only 6 no votes. americans with disabities act 8 no votes.
i thinwhat the american people are goi to look at the ngress and say, this i not change. >> ifill: senator brow ohio beneted from some of these special provisions in th bill. were the ends worth the mean >> thends are... the issue is what is bill means to people in io. my state90 people every single day from todo to cincinattio dayton to youngsto, 390 every single day lose their insurance across the coury 1,000 pele are dying every week because they don't hav insurance. you're a woman with breast cancer, 40% more likely to die. she doesn't have insurance. than if they does. that's why need to move now, why the delay tacticfrom some of our colleagues i tnk are mply don't serve the public interest in thi legislation ultimately 31 million people are goi to get insurance under this legislation. i to the floor every night, almost eve day and read letters om ohioans most of whom were pretty satfied with theirnsurance a year
ago and th either they had a child with a p-existing condition or they lostheir joor they had an expensive illness th caused the insurance company to , they call it reission, to rescind their inrance. d now they're hurting. we have an opportunity to fi this. this bill does this. it's not pfect by a long sh. would do better with the public option. it would do better with e medicare buy-in. we couldo better on the prcription drug issues to get ug prices down a whole lot better there. we weren'tble to accomplish all that. >>fill: may i ask you to respd to something that senator gram just id about cost. the president said ts is going toring the deficit wn. the whole goal was tbend the cost curve so that the aual cost of staying inred when you are insured uld go down. is the senate bi as written, would it do that? >> think it makes major steps towards dog that. unlike the 2003 dicare privatizatn bill that was written the drug and insurance coanies there was no... i gi senator gram crit. he voted against that.
not ma republicans did. that bill, that bill was not even paid for, not even attempted to be paid for. this one is. in the congssional budget office whichlays it straight i mean theeople on the losing team always complain about the referees but the congssional budget office says this ll bill will produce in the first ten yea a surplus of $130 llion, excusee billion dollars and in the second ten wi produce a surplus of about00 billion. it clearlyoes in the right rection. there arother things we uld do. i think it does a t of good pilot projects and cos savings because this can'te cost savings imposed om washington. it has to be best practis coming from ysicians and hospitals and other alth care providershat really kn how to do this. >> ifill: is this heing in the ght direction in your opinion? >> n medicare is going too in bankrucy in 2017. we've taken $470 billionut of the stem, not to save medicare from bankruptcyut to create new vernment programs that are going explodin cost down the road
ke the class act. i'll talabout that in a second. so it's hard to find medicare doctor now. hospitals and doctors are having a hard timeaking the rebursement levels that exist today. if you take $4 billion out ofhe system, you're going to compromise health care f seors. at the end of e day we need to reform medicare for mecare's sake not take money out of that system to crte new government program we're not going to cut medicare by $470 billionn my view. this will not be paid r. the sumptions in this bill will neverecome reality. the $247 billion doctofix, the cuts to co for doctors, 21% next year. 're not going to let that happen. at the end of the day, the class act, a n federal government entitlement proam where the fedel government will se you long-term health care insurance colles premiums forive years, $72 billion wortand starts ying out been anys and the cbo says it willreate a costly explosion tthe deficit. senator conr calls it a
ass act which is in this bill aonzi scheme of t first order that bernimadoff would be proud o that's one program in e bill that's just gog to blow a hole in the deficit. >> ifill: do you think that' one of the most overloed areas of the bl. >> y. i would say that's t most overlookedill. the idea that we will dohat we saye're going to do with medicare tre's no history in the coress of reducing medire by a little bit much less $470 billio at t end of the day sherrod and i agreon a lot of thin. pre-existing lnesses. seven reblicans, seven demate karats maating coverage. that's hard for a publican that you will have to covered, buy priva health care, by health re in the private sector and if you n't have money we'll subsidize. that's the way iant to go. this bill doest do that. >> ifi: yet there's no public option in the bilthat pass in the senate but does exist in the house. therare restrictions on what people canpend on abortion. thats tough er in the house bill. do you imagine that the sete
bill will std as it is? can you imine that when there's difference >> i think there will significant chans. ere will be some changes, whether they're significt. where they may be siificant is t tax on so-called cadill health care plans. i don't really call them tt but that's way the med report them. ere people that have high quality health care plans ve to pay taxes on them the president prised in his campaign actually criticiz john mccain for that. so i thinkhat is part of the senate bill. i hope it's not coming o of conference committee becse ose are people that have negotiated union pns but not just union plans but netiated good health insuranc given up wages to do it. ey shouldn't pay taxes on it. i would also say that i hear all this about medicare. i apprecia lindsey's comments but the.a.r.p. and the m.a.wouldn't be supporting this bill if didn'tave... if it were not inthe right things for medicare and not doing the right things for aracting physicians and to treang medica patients. so i think thiis the right
way to go in medicare. it gives medice beneficiies as i said it gives them physical, they' ha the annual physicals and colonoscopys and mammogram will be available. and again lengthens medicare life expeancy by ten years someing that no one has real focused on ing in this body for many many years. >> ifill: nator graham, looking back othis now, was bipartisanship ever possib r this bill? was it always going to ce down t60-40? was it always going to ce downo every single republican bng against it and every single democra being foit? >> olympia snowe voted f the finance committee bill. e voted for the bill out of committee. it just fell apart. i can't explaiit really quite frkly. i'on a bill. seven democratand seven republicans th would mandate coverage where evebody would have to be covered and y low the tax code to be used make those purchases. i don't know what happed. i can't explain it. i don'know how we went to the point that all the negotiations bke down and
ben nelson was draed off in a room somewhere in the capitol d they come up with the ckamamy deal for neaska to get the last vote. $518 bilon in taxes to pay for this bill. yoll never convince me that that's not goingo be passed on to the consumer the has to be a better way than raising518 billion of taxes d cutting medicare. if you're sellinsupplemental insurance policies for medica patients, your buness just got a lot better becausthe services available to seniors are going to down and if you're the a.a.r.p. youe going to have a lot more customers than yo did before. onlyne in five doctors work for e a.m.a.or support the a.m.a.. >> ifi: senator lindsey graham, senator sherrod brow you all ve some more votes ahead of you. we'll be talking to yo >> brown: still to ce on the nehour, anti-government protests back onhe streets of in. after copenhagen, at happened and what's next? d the start of a week long seriesecounting the challenges facg the washington d.c. hools. that follows the otherews of
thday from hari sreevasan in our news ro. >> sreenivasan: go evening. ch of the east coast struggled backo life today after weekend blzard ralyzed state after state with rord snow. thousands students and teachers stayed ho from schoolnd the storm was bled for seven deaths. newshour correondent kwame holman has our report. >> reporter: millionof pele from the mid atlantic to new england snt this first ofcial day of winter struggling to dig ou the onslght began friday night and coinued in some ples for 24 hours non-stop. the shington d.c. region was buried under nearly two feet of snow, fcing federal agencies to cle today. and everywhere commuters had to brave icy roads a slick sidewalks this morng. those who opted for blic transportati ran into delays in bus, commuter rail and subway service in several majocities. eay holiday travelers were left struggling to salvage flight plans after thousands
of flights werdelayed or canced. >> on a flight from boston yesterday at:00 and got here at 5:00 p.m. and have been here sincerying to get to pittsburgh. rit over there behind the christmas tree. >> we called up e airline last nht. evything was totally fine. we arrived this morning. the flight was canceled. a lot of people confused not knowing what's goi on. >> reporter: as the day we on, runways began to rpen and flightchedules slowly began returning to normal. brown: the blizzard also left shoppinmalls snow bound th merchants scrambling to recoup a critical weekd of lost biness. airline passengers in the u. will not have to sit on e tarmac f more than three urs. the transportation deptment ordered today thatassengers bellowed to deplane if a delay sts that long. otherwe, airlines could risk fines of
$27,000 pe passenger. transptation officials say average of 1500 flights a year are delayed more th three hours. thounds of rail travelers in britain, france and lgium re stranded for a third day afr snow halted high-speed rail service. in ldon and paris, would-be passengersaited in long lines for information how ey'll get home for the christmas holiday. operors of the euro star train said lited service would resume tomorrow. ford moars will offer youts and early retirement to,000 fact other workers. it is an attempt treduce costs by 2011. union workers have uil late januarto accept the offers with paynts of up to $7000. ford offered buyou earlier this year but on 1,000 employeeaccepted the offer. on wall street today, the do jones industrial average gaed 85 points to close at 10414. the nasdaq rose nearly 26
points to close at 2237. mexico city lelized gay marria today. the first ace in latin america to do so. the mexican capil's legislature voted redefine marriage as, qte, the free uniting two people. the city's may is expected to sign it into law. polish pole have recovered the sign stolen fr the main gate of the auschwitz concentration camp officials said today they arrest five men described as common cminals looking to make a profit. the thieves legedly cut the sign into three pieceso make easier to transport. the n could face up to ten years in prison for eft of an object of special culral value. the ash wits sign has come one of t defining symbolof the holocaust. i'll be backt the end of the program with a previewf what you'll fd tonight on the nehour's website. fonow back to gwen. >> ifill: and we move ono iran and the protests th won't go away. margaret warner repos. >> warner: the streetsf iran's hy city and the
nter of its religious life fied with tens of thousands of mourners today. they came both thonor a founding father of modern an, grand ayatollah, a to protest thgovernment he had come to oppose. foreign journalis were kept away but unconfirmed reports fromeformist and conservative websites report clashes between mourners and prgovernment supporters. he died nday at age 87 was a patriarch ofhe islamic revolution that swept iran 3 years ago. at one point he was signated the succesr to revolution's founder ayatollah khomni but he was pushed aside when he split wi government hard- liners in the late 1980s he called foexpanding civil liberties anwomen's rights anemerged as the senior dissident cleric in iraq recently he evenpologized r the 1979 storming of the u.s. embassyn tehran, and
the 444-y hostage crisis that followed. his legacy of defiance held inspire and emboen the opposition movent that gainedomentum after last ne's disputed presidential election. ter president mahmoud ahmadinejad s proclaimed the winner amiwidespread allegatis of fraud, month zairey's pen stiing broadside denouncing the ahmadinejad gornment for its handlingf the post election protest. those rebukes found a wide audience in irannd amid the oppositionupporters around the world. like this rson in north viinia. >> i wanto say here.... >> warner: every eveninge descen to his basement and speaks to tech savvy rormed minded citizens back in hi native iran. his ten-minute videos counling tactics of resistance a posted on you- tube, facebook and gooe mail. his audience? the thousands ofoung people
and others who s months after the eltion are still taking to the streets tehran and elsewre in protest they did today. thisan is a somewhat unlikely menr for them, an aide to ayatollah omeini in the eaiest days of the revolution he went on toelp found the revolutionary gud which is now the regime'main instrument f maintaining control. he says his aim is nothing less than bringing down at he calls the coups regime ahmadinejad and the supreme tre khammenei. >> the a of the movement is overthrowing the true government and becau the leader is with the coups government theeader as well. he should be tried. >> warner: you were e of the early adrents of this relution. you helped foundhe revolutionary ard. whdid you turn against it? >> because ts revolutionary guard is not tha revolutionary guard that ias
one of its founders. we wted to have a people army to defend the country, not an oanization which is involved in politics . one of the plars of islamic revolutionas to free them. what people shouted on the streets in 1979, bunow we have no freedom. >> warner: anti-government protests hit their peak the days and weeks immediately after e elecon. the revolutionary guard d its militia sponded by beating protesto and throwing manin jail. after showrials for some and death sentencefor others, the crowds did diminish. anian born stanfordcholar. >> i think it's intidating to the people who we sitting the fence. they came ouin the days
after the election. now that the pce of participation has gonep a bit th are back on the fence. but i n't think this is comforting news to t regime because they have w realized that they are sitting on a potential volcano. >> warner: restance is continuing with protests organizethrough text messag and twitter. the regime is fighting back the p.r.ront. 's been organizing its own pro government rallies. it's also vilifying the op i opsition with accusations ke this new one running on state allegationing opposition donstrators desecred a photo of the revered ayatollakhomeini and most recently government-linked newspapers and polital figures ha been calling for the rest of senior opposition leaders including the form politician who claims to have actuallwon the election. >> if at any time the regi thought that they coulget
away with arrestg him, i think they wou. i think the onlyhing that is barring them ithat they know that they are sitting onhis volcano. they don't wanto take the risk. they don't want do something at they don't know the results of. this is one of the bigst risk i think, that they would have to take >>arner: all this takes ple against the back drop of mounting tensions wi the united states and the west. over iran's clear program. it's repeated ssile tests and the fate of three american hikers who strayed acrs the border and are now facin trial for espione. yet stability at he remains the regime's top priority. in a recenmeeting with cleric, supre leader ayatollah khammenei sa the governme will remain stable and the oppositionill be destrod before your days. but anher man insists there are significant splits ithe clergynd even in the revolution guard.
do you think this oppositn vement which you're helping to inspire as well, can real he'll brindown this regime? >> yes. i think so. while we are going ahead, we can see that many ga in this society , generation g, minorities gap, social cla gap and the p between knowledge and ignorance the regime, knowdge of a nation and ignorance of a regime , theyre big motivation for a nation to uprise for her rights. >> warner: oppition leaders say they plato show their muscle again next nday on the major iite religious hoday. it will coinde with the 7th day of mourning, addinto the expected opouring in the streets. what isn't at all clear isow long the regime will tolere this kind of publidissent. with two such determined fs,
itould appear that this drama in iran has many chapte to play out. >> brownnow the high-level high-stakes talks in copenhagen. ray suarez looks bacat what happened a ahead at what's xt. >>uarez: the recriminations have been buding almost from the moment the tks ended in copenhagenaturday. in india todaymourners chanted in a semn funeral procsion. ey said the dear departed was no cherishedommunity leader b planet earth. >>he world leaders have fill the planet. now it's up to people come together because we ed a deal that is real. >> suarez:hat deal, of courseis the 12-paragraph non-bindg copenhagen accord annound after two weeks of grueling negotiations and la-
minute dealing 193 participt nations formally called for billns inid to help poor nations cope with clime change but set no firm targets fo cutting greenhouse gas emissions. the u.n.'s cmate chief:. >> an pressive accord but not an accord thats legally bindg. not anccord that at this moment pins down instrialized countries to dividual targets. >> suarez: at art, the accord represent just how far president obama and e leaders of cna, brazil, india and south africa we willing too at a snowed-i white house saturday afteris return, the prident had a more upbeat assessment. >> for the firstime in histy all of the major... the world's major econies have come together to accept their responbility to take tion to confront the threat of climate cnge. after exemely difficult and
compx negotiations, this important breakthrgh lays the fountion for internional action in the years to come. >> suarez: eopean leaders were notably absent from esident obama's last-minute meetings. today british pre minister gordon brown demanded t enti process be reformed. he said never again shoulde lea global deal be held to ransomy only a handful of countries. on a dferent note, the british clate change secretary, ed millbandingled out developing nations. >> there was poiblank reful from many of those countries to have legally binding targets. i think it sho in a sense how fawe do have to go to tackle the proem colltively. >> suarez: chi came under criticisfor refusing to agree to legallyinding and verifiable actions. the world's largest deloping economand the biggest rbon emiter held its grnd today. a government spokesmanaid ture negotiations will have to anowledge china's right to develop.
still nations most teatened by a warmer plet said they hope copenhagen paves the wa for a broader agreemen >> this document aows us to continue negiations and have a proper documenor a proper legally binding agreent withinhe course of 2010. >> suarez: next stop on that effort will be bern in the spri and then mexico city late in 2010. >> brown: ray is back om the co of copenhagen to the snows of washington. welcome back. >> suarez: good to be here >> brownwas there at the end a sense of biting off too much? >> suarez: think the preparations thawent on after the meings went on with the assumption at there woulbe enough work done fore everyone assembled in copenhagen so th you would just have to get thalast little b to an agreement in those final two week in the danish capit.
but ce they saw where the paies were, how they were dug in , those gapseemed to beust too broad to cover. >> bwn: all week long you talked about the various rifts. there was the rich versuthe poor, u.s.-cna. ere were the three big issues, right? the emissis standard... targets, fundi and verification in the end you cldn't unravel... you cldn't pull apart any individual o? is thawhat happened? theyere all sort of tied together. >> at one int the conference was looking for one ctory that it could ize on and say at least we got this donbut everytng was so, as you suggt, tightly inter-woven that there was no one thin that you could agree on whe other things were stl left the carried out in the future. so the money. well, yes, jan offered $15 billion right away. thunited states offered an undetermin sum and promised toelp raise $100 billion by
2020, but everything else wa left undefine and resolved. yes, t west agreed. the wealthy industrialations reed to targets but they couldn't talk about ne-term targets, only ones tt are very far awalike 2050. at you got the sense of was that pple were thinking of co-2 like it was a natnal asset, not asset butomething ssessed nationally like china's co-2 would stay abov china instead ofeing the world's co-2 that once it's bell mhed out into the atmosphe it kind of belongs to everybody and is everyby's problem. >> brown: spking of politics and, i ess it's geo-politics. we went into this talking about clate change and a lot of peoe came out talking about geo-politil change and how that showed up in copenhagen. >> suarez: it was the g- raising its head again. the was speculation after the last-8 meeting that the
world was now really run esntially by two countries: the united states and china. but china hadn't yet even won up to the fact that it runs the world wh the united states. it still wants to count itse as a developing nation in th way at some of the poorest counies in the world do. itants to slide in under theirules. rather than part of the solution, part of the building the mechanisthat gets the world out of t fix it perceives itselfo be in. you know, we spent two weeks with leadersrom all over the world saying we've got tdo somethin we're running out of te. th is our last great chance. and en very little came out of it. >> bro: where did that leave evybody else besides those g- 2? i mean y cited in your piece th european leaders, for example, weren't evethere in thfinal negotiations. >> suarez:he europeans were scratchingheir heads when it was all over becse they're among the largest emiters still.
euro wanted some credit and some recognition f having taken very serious sps toward limiting their emissionjust in the recent past. creating an architecte for bringing dowthe release of greenhouse ges into the air but you saw that picturet the end. who was it? jacob zuma, thpresident of south africa, and thleader of the brazilis. and the premie of china. it was t new kids on the block in effect. the es that will be the biggest global emiters i2020 and 2030 thawere sitting around that table with president oba. >> bro: looking ahead there are early some cause for changing the pross, right? we saw that from gordon own. what ds that mean actually? what are people calling foto look ahead toward me of these next meetings? >> suarez: everybody i pointi to the fact that there were 192 ates gathered
there, andveryone spoke as if themallest countries with very few emissio were the same. as the biggest country with the biggest emissis. t when it came to sponsibility or who would pay what butaving a voice in the proceedings. there's somepeculation about how to do the workn advance of the confence so that the smallest couries in the world-- the, in fact, who have very little industries cut back emissio from-- don't get toum up the works by being able to intrude o the councils of the biest countriethat have to actuly do the hardest work to g anything done. >> brown: to theoint where thermay be some questions out whether these kind of grand meings are even useful, something like this? >> suarez: some comnists over the weekend pointed out thathis may be the model that proves that the mel doesn't work, that copengen may be the examp that people point to yrs from now and say, look, wn you've got a probm as vast as this one, as complicat as this one,
getting 192 voic into the room maybe isn't as usef as getting 20, 25 oeven 40 when you need to something quickly and you need to something comprensively. >> brown: raw suarez, thks again. thanks for the whole wk and welcome ba. >> suarez: good to bhome. >>fill: now the struggle to improve educion in washington d.c. a ory with national imications. a federal report card of 11 scol systems this month shed math scores in d.c. schos are improving. only washington recoed improvement among four and 8th graders in 2007 and 2009 but those scores are sti well below the natnal average. ny of the system's larger problems remain. john merrow, the newshour special corrpondent for education, has bn following d.c. schools cncellor michelle rhee's forts to tu the schools around for three years. we revisit the schools from
rhee first month on the job. >> repter: in washington d.c. the new leader of t public schools iputting her house in oer. >> the bottom line is don't believe that you are gng to be the leadewho is going to take the schls in the direction that we ne to go in and have the hiest expections for the kids. >> reporter: miclle rhee spent the first weeks the schoolear meeting one on one th all 156 principals under her charge? >> in y other sector emplees are expected to to meet certainutcomes or delivebles. everody knows that if you don't meet those numbers, u go that's what we're creating. i'm terminating your incipalship now. >> rorter: any compassion? >> compassion? think that when you're doing the kind of work tt i'm doing in public ucation wherthe lives and futures childrenang in the balance, you cannot... you can't play th that.
>> the wheels are in motion foaction. and the time for dramatic ange begins today. >> reporter: re's campaign for reform began six month ago with full support om washington's new mor aide ran. >> there will beeople along the way who don't agree with things that 're doing. but as long as we're condent that it is what's bestor opportities of young people inur system and for their education, thawill trump everything els >> good moing. >> good toee you. >> reporter: michelle rhee spent the lasten years working to improveeacher quality in low-performin schools but she's nevebeen a principal let alone mage a school system. less than a year ago shead just over 100 employees. today she's in charge of ove 11,000 employees in what m be the worst pubc school district in thcountry. >> we he in some circumstances 70ercentage points dierence between our
white kids and our bla kids. that makes me so angry. this is nothing but the result of the adults in this system not doing their jobs. at about your achievement gain the school? >> achievementaps are getting a little bitetter. >> reporter: in r meetings this fall with therincipals rhee discovered what she believes is a key prlem. >> noby had ever said to th , this is expectation. this is what succe will look liket the end of the year. if you meet this or exed this, we will great. and ifou don't meet this, th we're going to have a serious conversati about whether or not you can continuen in that role. >> reporte rhee asked heech principal to set a goal fo impring student achievement. >> you have run but put pep to your step. let's go. >> reporter: lynn gobeis the principal at anacostihigh school. it's a tough school with
ugh issues. i promed her that i'm up for the challeng >> rorter: test scores here rank at the bottom of e district. st year only 7% of students scored proficient inath. in reading only 6% were pricient. the goal this ar is to double tse scores. >> there are more an one way to ups student progress. >> repter: gloria lton is an might have with the job o helpinteachers raise peormance. >> there are sixth gra tehers students reing on third gradlevel. i don't have any trd grade in this buildingo give to them. >> reporter: the problems far beyond books. >> no, no. >> okay. >> wre going to get in trouble. >> settle down >> there are a lot of neighbhood issues that children are facin several of the children ta care of themselves. they take care otheir others and sisters. some of the studen have to work in order to survi.
and to help thr parents. oro help the parent that they live with. >> you need more psycholists in the schoo you need me counselors in thschool. because when youan address the needs of the soul, then you can get them to perform. >> you c address the needs of the souls of these kids in the classroomshrough the power that we ha as educator you can't teach in a vacuu you have to me them where theyre. yohave to take that interest in account. you can never ever ever le that be an excuse r the kids not achieving at theighest levels. >> repter: the double test scores at the end of theear, the prinpal is focusing on school spit, parent involvement and test preparation. >> very good. ite that down. >> what are you doing? >> you didn't write anhing. >>e can do whatever anyone else can do. ey have the heart.
they jusneed the opportunies. we're noa perfect school but we're string to be. >> the principal, e's struggling. i think she's inn incredibly fficult situation. she was to do well. she's working ha. shs trying. t i can't confuse that at all with producing results. >>eporter: success for d.c.'s princips depends in part on support from the district's central office. that agency recently came under fire when thousands books and supplies it d ordered were found ia warehouse while students wt without. >> thaoffice, if you take something there, is going to get lost. so don't take it there. >> reporter: re-red elma to hd the human resources department.
you won't get any help. the phonesre... not that the phonesre busy but the mailboxes are alwaysull. >> reporr: under the current contract termiting a central ofce employee can take months. >> every effective organizaon out there has the ability to hold employee accountable. >> reporter: to brg the same bottom-line accountabilityo e central office that she's already put in pla for principalsrhee asked the cityouncil in october for power to fire central office emplees at will. >> i need this authority f the long term, to make sur that any time the's any employeeho is not producing results and who is not dng the ght thing for kids, that we're le to move them out of the system. >> she has some ew s that may present some probls with teachers in terms ofrust. >> reporter: teachs' union president george parkeis watchinghee closely. >> whave to move the discussion away om hiring
anfiring of any number of employees and begin to move the discussiono what kinds ofupports arwe going to put in placen our district to support teachers a and chdren. >> reporter:hile rhee was seing greater control over her central offi, the contract with thteachers expired. >>hancellor rhee, can you tell us are you seekg similar typef authority to allow you to fire teachers in the futu? >> absoluty. we have to ensure in whatever coract that we have that we are able to remo ineffecte teachers from their positis. >> reporter: rhee will have gotiate a new contract with the teachers' union in the ming months. many ex-sperkt her to cus on hiring and firing. >> the chanclor already has mo than enough authority to remove from e system an teachers that ardeemed ineffectivor incompetent. i cannott this point imagine
what any... wh additiona authority the chancellorould need in order to remove ineffectivteachers. >> i thinke make often an assumption assumion in a very naive way that en you enter a broken sool system thathe people are broken who work there. >> repter: rhee's critics include arlene ackerman, rmer head of the d.c. school >> i woulday take a look at the stems that are in place. makeure you've done everything to fix ose. 's easier to focus on people th to actually fix a broken school system. >>or me this is not about firi people and that's going to solve the problem what's going to solve the problem creating a culture of aountability in the central offi first and then evenally everyone in the school district. >> reporter: does th legislation have any natnal significance >> i hope so. i hope so. i hope that evything that we do in so ways will have
reverberions across the untry. >> reporter: pusack against rh's plan has begun. at a rent ten-hour public hearing so of the strongest criticism came fm the teache' union. >> wfeel that this legislation removes e process foworkers. we are not of thmind set that reming due process for workers isn any way going to improvstudent achievement. >> reporter: ang rhee's orters was parent mary sidell. >> we are ackled by the bureaucracy of the centr adminiration of d.c.ps. i ammazed at the amount of money thatets sucked out of our schools by t central administration. >> i belie that the public isehind me in an believable way. i mean to the vel that, you ow, on the weekends i'm in the grocery ste. i am like in my flip flopsnd people come to me and they say, tha goodness you're
ing this. you can't do it quick engh. don't give up. >> reporter: for now mhelle rhee's plans are on hold. the city council eects to vote soon on her reque for greater ntrol. next up? negotiations with the teachers' union. >> ifill: thatas back in 2007. since then, e city council did in ft give michelle rhee more power over the school syst but rhee and the teachers' ion have still not reached a deal on a new contract d the chancellor decided to remove the principalf anacostia high schl one of several dozen she evenally replaced. in john's next installnt he looks at rhee's plans tolose some schoolsnd early resistance to that. >> bwn: the major developmentsf the day. senateemocrats won a key procedural vote to car the way for approving their alth care reform bill by christs. much of the ea coast struggled ba to life after a weekend blizzard paralyz state ter state with record snow.
the nehour is always online . hari sreenivan in our news ro previews what's their. >> sreenasan: on our website tonight mo from ray on the outcome of the climate summi and whatappens next. extend excerpts of margaret warner's intervi with the former iranian revolutionary guard meer. a behi the scenes blog post from newshour education correspondent john merw about changes afoot in u.s. schools and a special featur out how health care reform could affecteople with different jobs and dferent kinds of iurance. all that and moris on our website, newshour dot pbs do org. >> brown: that's the nshour for tonigh i'm geoffr brown. >>fill: and i'm gwen ifill. we'll see you onlinend again hereomorrow evening. thank u and good night. major fundinfor the pbs newshours provided by:
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