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ro %. U W …. A I S ‘A % +Q. unionprinter “rs c. 1 % . a ‘1 ‘ey 11. n r r GI AI.’IMAGING 1606 FTEXI-M..kc’ C1 E AUSTIN, TFXAS 787540 512.452.5058 FAX 512.323.9247 800.388.9406: , arneriprintqOaol.corn http://www.unionprinter.corn has purchased “pollution credits” from other companies to compensate. Local opponents were required to sign confidentiality agreements to review American Acryl documents, and told the Houston Chronicle, “What we read would curl your hair.” Tamara Maschino of Seabrook said, “Clear Lake should be a jewel like San Francisco. We’re treating it like a toxic dump.” ALCOHOL, FIREARMS AND TOBACCO. It was almost a Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, and Tobacco fundraiser in Washington, when Governor Bush raised a record-breaking $21 million in one night. The Governor no longer drinks, but there was alcohol served at the D.C. event, co-sponsored by tobacco giant Philip Morris and the National Rifle Association. The N.R.A. was represented by its President, Wayne LaPierre, who helps define the extreme right of the right-wing gun lobby. It was LaPierre who recently said that President Clinton tolerates some gun violence in order to increase public pressure for gun-control laws. The tobacco industry, for its part, came up with $210,000 in soft money for the Bush campaign. Two days later Bush’s A.G. in Texas, John Cornyn, filed suit against the trial lawyers who represented the state in a civil suit against big tobacco when Dan Morales was attorney general. TOBACCO PR MIFTS. Austin reporter Robert Bryce predicted that the structured payments former Attorney General Dan Morales won in the state’s law suit against the tobacco industry would result in an unsavory alliance between State Government and Big Tobacco \(“John Cornyn’ s Tobacco Obsesprediction is coming to pass. The Senate Interim Subcommittee on Tobacco Settlement Proceeds recently pondered such questions as the decline in tobacco stock prices, decreased domestic consumption of tobacco cutting into tax revenue, and committee members’ concerns that the smokers’ class-action lawsuit filed in Florida could force tobacco companies into bankruptcy. As an unsecured creditor, Texas may not receive payments for quite a while, warned Andy Taylor of Attorney General John Comyn’ s office. The national press is beginning to examine Governor Bush’s “Texas Miracle” in education, and re porters are finding that the Governor is not quite ready for canonization. “It’s difficult to evaluate all the Texas officials’ claims about soaring test scores,” John Mintz wrote in the Washington Post. “But it is clear that some of their key assertions aren’t backed up by other tests issued on a national scale. While Texas says it has dramatically shrunk the gap between minority and white students’ scores, a test used across the country called the N.A.E.P. showed they haven’t closed that `achievement gap.’ In fact, it suggests the gulf between the state’s white and black fourth-graders widened over time.” The Post cited the work of Linda McNeil of Rice and Angela Valenzuela of the University of Texas, who found that a largely Hispanic high school in Houston “with virtually no library, spent $18,000 almost its entire instructional budget for commercial test preparation materials that replaced teachers’ lessons.” What is happening, the researchers found, is that middle-class children in white, middle-class schools read literature, learn to write, and study mathematics aimed at problem-solving and conceptual understanding. Poor and minority children drill to prepare for standardized tests. MAY 12, 2000 , CA 1′ “aa. 11F THE TEXAS OBSERVER 17 r.