ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
April 1, 2013
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT.
THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
Guests: Glen Hooks, Dan Dicker, Bernie Sanders, May Boeve, Derrell Bradford, Pedro Noguera
CHRIS HAYES, HOST: Good news and bad news today for the residents of
All right. The good news is than Exxon announced they`re developing an
official plan to evacuate an oil pipeline that ruptured underneath a
Mayflower Subdivision on Friday.
The bad news is that this -- this -- is how the residents of that
subdivision spent their Easter weekend?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So that is a pipeline that is busted and has flooded
the neighborhood and is going all the way to the drain at the end of the
street. Luckily our house is here, which is seemingly unaffected, but the
smell is unbelievable. I mean, look. Incredible. And that is oil.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That is oil. More precisely, that is heavy crude oil from the tar
sands of Canada spewing out onto the lawns and sidewalks and the streets
and past the basketball hoops of the Northwoods subdivision.
That video was shot by Drew Barnes (ph), a homeowner from the area, hat
The 20-inch mobile pipeline carrying the crude, which was installed in the
late 1940s, burst on Friday. Almost two dozen homes in the area have been
evacuated while the clean-up gets under way. The EPA has classified it as
a major spill.
ExxonMobil has not yet said how much oil has estimated to have spilled,
only that as of this evening, they have cleaned up 12 million barrels of
oil and water. And local news coverage of the spill, it was common to hear
the evacuated residents to say they did not even know they lived
essentially on top of a 60-year-old oil pipeline.
And, of course, in the cable news business, the true measure of any oil
spill is a degree of heartbreaks spread by images of its avian victims.
These obligatory photos of oil covered fowl come from the hawk center in
Arkansas. Most of these birds have been bathed at least once before the
pictures were taken.
Just two days before the big suburban spill in Arkansas, a train derailed
in western Minnesota, spilling 15,000 gallons of crude into a rural
Minnesota field. We don`t know for sure whether that was also tar sands
oil, but we do know that it came from Alberta, which at this point is
probably as famous for its tar sands as for anything else.
As for the pipeline that ruptured in Arkansas, that pipeline used to carry
crude oil from Texas up north to Illinois, but in 2006, because there were
so much heavy crude oil coming out of Canada, Exxon reversed it. So now it
flows north to south, bringing dirtier, harder to clean up crude oil for
the middle of the country.
As America is projected to become the Western hemisphere`s hub for fossil
fuel extraction, to some oil analysts, even predicting that we`ll surpass
Saudi Arabia in oil output by 2020, we have a new dystopic vision of what
our future like among our own fossil fuels might look like. This could be
your neighborhood soon, unless we do something differently.
The amount of fossil fuel extraction we`re doing now on and the amount
we`re set to do particularly at the 1,200-mile Keystone XL Pipeline is
ultimately approved, means that whether it`s fracking in your backyard or a
pipeline that`s going to run underneath your subdivision, this is the
future of fossil fuel America unless we decide collectively to choose
Joining me at the tables tonight, my great pleasure to welcome, Senator
Bernie Sanders, independent from Vermont, May Boeve, executive director and
co-founder of 350.org, a grassroots climate change campaign, and Dan
Dicker, a veteran oil trader and president of MercBloc, and CNBC
And, from Mayflower, Arkansas, we`re joined by Glen Hooks, executive
director of the Serra Club of Arkansas.
No one from ExxonMobil or the American petroleum institute was available to
join us tonight.
Glen, I will begin with you.
How big of story is it there and what are residents being told?
GLEN HOOKS, ARKANSAS SERRA CLUB: We`re here in Mayflower, Arkansas.
Thanks for coffering the story.
When you get off the freeway, you can really smell the oil spill. I spent
some time today walking through the evacuated neighborhoods. There aren`t
a lot of neighbors around to tell their story, but the story is told by
their oil soaked backyard, by their ripped up streets, and just by the
smell in the air that these tar sands oil that the tar sands oil has really
taken a chunk out of Mayflower, Arkansas. It`s a pretty ugly site.
HAYES: My producers and I were going through local news accounts of the
spill. It was so startling. No one knew -- almost no one seemed to know
that they were atop this oil pipeline.
HOOKS: No, they don`t know that. And actually, what Exxon has been
telling folks, the story seems to be that this is just regular old west
Texas crude, when in fact it is tar sands thick Canadian oil that`s coming
from Alberta, as you mentioned.
This is a much bigger mess than just a simple crude spill. This is
something if it gets in the water is going to sink. We`re talking about
This is a big deal. You`re right, not a lot of people knew that this
pipeline existed, and certainly didn`t know it was carrying this really
dirty Canadian tar sands.
HAYES: Yes, will you explain why it`s harder to clean up this stuff than
your normal crude?
HOOKS: Yes. Well, you know, a lot of times when you have an oil spill,
you can use skimmers and skim it off the water because the oil will float.
This is not your typical crude oil. This is much heavier, it`s much
thicker, it`s much dirtier, therefore a lot more dangerous. So, if it gets
in the waterways, it`s going to sink, it`s not going to float. And, so,
you`re talking about a potentially disastrous dredging process in an area
that is right here in the natural state. Not where you would expect to
find Canadian tar sands oil.
HAYES: This -- a few years ago, there was an oil spill in Kalamazoo,
Michigan, which was also this heavy oil. And it`s fascinating, EPA staff
that worked on this, they had responded to oil spills over many, many
years, had never encountered a spill of this type of material and this
unprecedented volume under these kinds of conditions.
It -- what you get a sense of this is stuff that is different than what
people are used to being able to clean up.
MAY BOEVE, EXEC. DIRECTOR, 350.ORG: Right, so tar sands oil has the
highest carbon content of any oil we know of. And right now, the spill
we`re seeing in Arkansas is a devastating problem. And the real shocker
about it, as you alluded to, is that this pipeline carries one tenth of
what the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline would carry.
And so, imagine the photos we`re seeing from Arkansas times 10, and that
overlaid over the Ogallala aquifer in Nebraska, our nation`s largest source
DAN DICKER, CNBC CONTRIBUTOR: I`m going to pushback because --not that I`m
in favor of all for Keystone.
HAYES: You`re for oil spill. You`re on record.
DICKER: Indeed, I`m pro-oil spill.
Here is what the oil companies will say about this. They will say that
HAYES: I would have loved to have hem.
DICKER: -- is a brand new pipeline and is in fact much less likely to
rupture and spill oil sands than this 80-year-old pipeline.
Now, we have dozens of pipelines running through this country, and
unfortunately infrastructure on oil pipelines is the same as the
infrastructure on bridges and roads and tunnels. That is it`s falling
apart, nobody ever builds a new one unless they need it, and they keep on
fixing the old.
So, in fact, not that I`m in favor of this, this is a horrible tragedy. We
do have hundreds of spills, though, every year and this is going to be one
they`re going to say the Keystone Pipeline actually helps out on.
HAYES: As a senator for the Energy Committee and someone who`s talked a
lot about the Keystone, when you see these images, Senator Sanders, what`s
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: My response is it reminds me of what
happened in the Gulf Coast. It reminds me of Exxon Valdez, which are even
a hell of a lot worse than we`re seeing there in Arkansas.
But I`ll tell you what, Chris? It really raises the border question, and
that is whether we continue to be a carbon based economy, whether we
finally recognize that if we don`t get a handle on greenhouse gas
emissions, that this planet is going to be facing some disastrous problems
in years to come.
As a member of the Energy Committee and the Environmental Committee, we
have talked to scientists. And you know what these scientists tell us?
They say, you know, the projections that we made about the damage for
global warming, we were wrong. We understated the problem.
What they`re now saying is that if we don`t get our act together and start
cutting in a very significant way, greenhouse gas emissions, we`re talking
about this planet heating up by eight degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the
century. And that is calamitous for this planet.
BOEVE: And you know what? Here`s the thing. There are alternatives, and
you never hear about a solar spill. When you hear about a solar spill, we
call it a beautiful day.
HAYES: OK, but Keystone has become this kind of flash point for the
environmental movement. And, obviously, this being in the news is useful.
It`s a catalyzing moment, right?
As we all think about building this massive new pipeline, there`s already -
- part of that pipeline is already built, part of it is being built, the
last part which crosses the border in the north is the one that`s awaiting
approval. And the idea here is that the reason this is so important isn`t
just because you`re going to get oil spills and that`s part of it, and I
want to talk about the rest from that, it`s that this will push us over
into some new territory.
But, Dan, I mean, the argument that gets made by the State Department and
their draft environmental impact study, the argument that gets made by a
lot of people is that oil is coming out no matter what. And when you look
at how much money there is to be made from it and the amount of capital
investment that firms are willing to do to extract it, that seems like
there`s something to do that argument.
DICKER: It is an economic equation. And, in fact, this spill proves to
you, for example, that Keystone is just one pipeline. And in fact,
Canadian sands are coming down to this country. And even if the president
were to disallow Keystone from being built, it would not stop Canadian oil
sands from coming to this country.
We already, if you talk to oil schedulers, they will tell you that they
don`t particularly need Keystone XL in order to move the amount of Canadian
sands that they, in fact, want to move. It just makes things a whole heck
of a lot easier if they get this extension (ph).
Remember, Keystone already exists.
DICKER: The reason they call it XL is because it`s made bigger, not
because it`s not there already.
So, one of the issues that you have to deal with is -- and I think this is
an important point that you have to take on Keystone because it`s a symbol,
an important one. That shouldn`t be lost.
But what should be remembered are the truths about Canadian oil sands.
They are coming into this country already. They will continue to come into
the country whether or not Keystone is stopped.
SANDERS: Well, I think very simply, here`s what the truth is: the truth is
the president of the United States, the Congress and the American people
have got to say this is it. Not only do we not want a Keystone XL
pipeline, but we have got to fundamentally transform our energy system away
from coal, away from oil, and into sustainable energy and energy
What we are fighting for -- you know, people talk about economics -- we are
fighting for the future of the planet. We are talking about more and more
Sandys and Irenes, which cost huge amounts of money in terms of rebuilding
those communities, not to mention the future disasters that we`ll see.
HAYES: And yet, here strikes me as the problem: on March 22nd, a perceived
-- a symbolic vote in your august body, the United States Senate, which you
are a proud member, 62 in favor, 37 against a symbolic resolution calling
for approval of the Keystone pipeline including Democrats, quite a few,
Baucus, Begich, Bennett, Carper, Casey, Coons, Donnelly, and I must note,
Senator Pryor of the great state of Arkansas.
DICKER: And I don`t know how the president walks away from considering
he`s appeared in the election period in front of all those pipes and
coshing (ph). He said he was expediting the southern half. He said he was
waiting for the governor of Nebraska to approve a re-routing. He was
waiting for the State Department to give approval and give its
environmental study. He`s gotten both of those.
I don`t know how he says no to Keystone at this point, even though he
probably should. I don`t know how he says no.
HAYES: That`s the question I want to ask. I want to ask after the break,
how do you say no to Keystone? Pleasing sound to the Republicans.
And, Glen, I want to hear your thoughts on your senator and how this might
change his mind, right after the break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. LEE TERRY (R), NEBRASKA: I have led the efforts in the House to
support the Keystone XL Pipeline, project that would bring more North
American energy to the marketplace and put thousands to work. The Obama
administration continues to block Keystone using every bureaucratic trick
and excuse in the book.
It`s now been more than 1,600 days since the initial permits were filed for
building the pipeline. To put that in perspective, it took the United
States a little more than 1,300 days to win World War II, and it took Lois
and Clark about 1,100 days to walk the Louisiana porches and back.
The Keystone XL Pipeline is a no-brainer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: All right, so that is a little snippet of a larger rhetoric that`s
emerged not just around Keystone, but I think, very interestingly, in our
politics. What`s happened is that we`ve actually seen the right,
particularly Republicans, become more reactionary on this issue, right?
They have gone from this kind of this is a necessary evil to this is an
affirmative good. Drill, baby drill, don`t tell us what light bulb to use.
Steve Stockman tweeted the other day, he said -- a quite conservative
Republican congressman from Texas, "The best thing about the Earth," this
was his tweet, "The best thing about the Earth that you could poke holes in
it and oil and gas come out."
And so, the question is, if that`s the direction the Republican caucus is
moving, if you have Democrats, you know, here voting for this resolution,
then what -- how do the politics on this shift, on Keystone particularly?
SANDERS: Well, I think they shift, and they have shifted, by the way, when
people watch their television and see what happened in New Jersey and New
York. When they hear scientists saying, you`re going to see this every
year and it`s going to be even worse. And people understand that.
And when people see droughts in the Southwest, and when they see flooding
and they see heat waves all over the world, when people see their lakes
aren`t freezing over, people say, you know what, I may not be a scientist,
I know something is wrong, and I understand that for my kids and my
grandchildren, we have got to do something about it.
So I am not pessimistic about the future. I think with good organizations
like 350.org, working with the grassroots, we can make the case. Not only
that we have to collect greenhouse gas emissions, we can create millions of
HAYES: Do you want to see the president not authorize the Keystone
SANDERS: Of course.
SANDERS: Of course.
HAYES: Glen, your senator was one who voted for that symbolic resolution.
And I`m curious if this opens up the space for folks in the state of
Arkansas to have a conversation with him about that.
HOOKS: I certainly think it`s a good excuse to stop by. We talked about
it before, he`s been a champion for it.
But certainly, Senator Pryor, as his father David Pryor when he was in the
Senate, they both had a sign on their desks that say Arkansas first. When
we look at what happened in Mayflower today and we look at the kind of
devastation that could from a spill like this, this pipeline goes through
Little Rock`s water supply as well. This could be a devastating type
If Senator Pryor puts Arkansas first, he might reconsider this. I might
also point out our senator -- excuse me, our congressman from this
district, Republican by the name of Tim Griffin, has been a champion of
this Keystone project as well.
This is in his district. This spill is in his district. I want him to
take a close look at this and see -- is it worth a few small amount of jobs
for the environmental risk that`s at stake? I don`t think so.
So if you look at the local politics, it makes a difference. But I
totally agree with Senator Leahy about the -- Senator Sanders, excuse me,
about the environmental affect on a large scale as well. This Keystone
pipeline is bad news. We don`t need it. It`s going to shift the climate -
- science in a way we really can`t afford.
HAYES: One of the things that 350.org has done very effectively is to
focus on the brass tacks issue of spills, right? The coalition that`s been
built in opposition -- at one point, even included the governor of
Nebraska, includes a lot of ranchers.
I want to show this stat because you talked about -- you know, what we`re
dealing with here is some assessment of the risk, not just of the climate,
right, but just the basic risk of is this stuff going to get in the
backyard of your subdivision? And these are -- this is data from the
federal government`s regulatory body that oversees pipelines, which I
learned today, from Department of Transportation.
And these are oil spills from pipelines over the last 20 years, 1993 to
2012. And what you see is that there`s not really any trend. I mean, it`s
like you say, well, the technology is getting better. That does not
indicate to me that the technology is getting any better.
DICKER: The infrastructure for pipelines has been basically the same for
the last 70 years and the number of spills have been the same for the last
70 years. And this is just part of the business and it`s a bad part of the
BOEVE: And we have to do better and we can do better. And I think what`s
been so interesting in this Keystone fight is it has brought climate change
back into the national conversation, a whole movement has arisen over this
issue, and, you know, we`re working with the Serra Club and Glen and others
to try and see how we can make President Obama take this movement
HAYES: But can you get -- can you get the Tim Griffins of the world? This
to me is the big question, right? If we`re going to price carbon, if you
have a fantastic bill if you don`t mind me saying that you cosponsors that
would put a price on the carbon. It`s the gold standard bill on this
Dan, I think you`d agree.
DICKER: No, I think that`s -- in fact, I think that is the real way to get
back at ExxonMobil. I think the only way that you --
HAYES: Well, we`re not doing this out of punitive desire but --
DICKER: No, no, no. But the only way you get them to heel to task is to
take away the economic advantages of getting oil sands out of the ground
from Canada. And that means you have to put a price on what it is to take
a Canadian out of the Athabasca or go into the Gulf of Mexico or somebody`s
backyard or go and get tide oil.
And the way you do that is put a price on what it is in terms of the
effects it has on the environment. And once you do that, then it makes
more sense for Exxon to in fact pursue gasoline from algae as opposed to
gasoline from natural gasoline from oil sands in Canada. And that`s really
where the rubber is going to meet the roads. It`s economics.
SANDERS: Exactly, and the point has to be made that we now have the
technology in terms of energy efficiency, in terms the decreased price for
solar pane panels, in terms of the need for wind. Geothermal is going all
over the country, biomass. We now can do it.
If there was a political will in the White House and in the Congress, we
can transform the energy system. We can create millions of jobs. We could
lead the world and be an exporter around the world of that type of
That`s the future, not oil and that`s why the Keystone pipeline should be
BOEVE: We can`t afford not to make that choice, in fact, and this is one
of the most devastating projects on the entire planet. I mean, photos from
space make the tar sands look like Mordor.
And the scale of it is hard to comprehend, every three days, enough oil is
moved in Alberta to fill Yankee Stadium. We`re talking about tremendously
significant project that we can stop if we focus on the pipeline.
HAYES: My take away from this is we should reach out to Congressman Tim
Griffin tomorrow to ask about his reaction to the spill and whether it`s
changed his opinion on Keystone at all. And we should check back in on how
this cleanup goes in Kalamazoo, which is the most expensive on-ground oil
spill in American history. It took two years to open up the waterways.
Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, May Boeve, executive director of
350.org, Dan Dicker, president of MercBloc, and Glen Hooks of the Arkansas
Serra Club, thank you all so much. I really appreciate it.
SANDERS: Thank you.
BOEVE: Thank you.
HAYES: A massive institutional scandal complete with theft, conspiracy,
witness tampering and false statements, and the people at the heart of it
just happen to be responsible for the futures of 52,000 children. That`s
HAYES: If you happen to be among the millions of people who watched the
NCAA tournament last night, you watched as Louisville Cardinal sophomore
guard Kevin Ware broke his leg in an awkward fall after a routine move --
an injury so gruesome it left players in tears and more than a few people I
spoke with feeling sick to their stomach.
It`s one of those gasp moments. People who saw it in real time howled out
involuntarily at their TVs. Everybody in the stadium was, according to
reports, completely affected. Social media blew up.
And immediately after, people wanted to know if Ware`s leg was going to be
OK and if he was ever going to play basketball again. But they also wanted
to know, I wanted to know right away, if Ware isn`t going to play
basketball again because of the injury, is he going to be able to go back
to Louisville next year, and is he going to have a scholarship?
If Ware isn`t going to have a scholarship, what`s going to happen to him?
And even if he does have a scholarship, who is going to pay for his medical
bills? Is he covered for this? And most profoundly and urgently, why
again isn`t Kevin Ware being paid for his labor?
That succession of logic is not an accident. The term student athlete, as
Taylor Branch points out in his seminal piece in "The Atlantic", was,
quote, "a formulation designed, as sports economist Andrew Zimbalist has
written, to help the NCAA in its fight against workman`s compensation
insurance claims for injured football players."
If a player was a student athlete, they were not by definition an employee
and ergo not qualified for worker`s comp if they got injured on the field,
which means that NCAA players are -- NCAA propaganda notwithstanding --
essentially the uncompensated employees of the cartel, players who
literally, as we saw, risk their limbs on the court in order to produce a
product that is immensely, immensely profitable.
How profitable? In 2010, the NCAA reached a 14 year, $10.8 billion deal
with CBS Sports and Turner Broadcasting, featuring just March Madness.
That`s $770 million a year.
What does that mean for the uncompensated worker in the scenario, the
Well, there just happens to be a March study that provides the number.
Football and men`s basketball players at top sports schools are being
denied at least $6.2 billion between 2011 and 2015 under National
Collegiate Athletic Association rules that prohibit them from being paid,
according to a study by the National College Players Association and the
Drexel University sport management department.
What would the fair market value of these players be? $1.06 million over
four years for the average men`s basketball player. Not including his
scholarship. The number is higher, $1.5 million, for players, basketball
players at bowl championship series schools.
Amazingly, and amazingly ironically, the most valuable team in all of
college basketball is none other than Kevin Ware`s Louisville, where the
study estimates players are being denied $6.5 million each year in
Kevin Ware doesn`t have $6.5 million. But Louisville`s basketball program
brought in $42.4 million in revenue during just the 2011-2012 academy year,
according to numbers reported to the U.S. Department of Education.
Kevin Ware`s immediate career and recovery will be paid for, but coverage
in these situations is deliberately narrow and there are plenty of examples
of players who incur horrendous bills, in some cases because their injury
is not bad enough to qualify for catastrophic injury insurance, which
itself is a $90,000 deductible, according to "The New York Times".
Scholarships are renewed on annual basis. So Louisville is under no
obligation to renew Ware`s scholarship, though it probably will for two
reasons, the high profile case, and they want Ware around because when he
is able to play again.
The good news, Kevin Ware merged today from emergency surgery, which was
successful, according to Louisville, and he`s expected to be discharged
from the hospital tomorrow. The Louisville spokesman reported than doctors
are expecting a full recovery.
But for the University of Arizona basketball player Kyle Hardrick, was a
far different story. After a knee surgery in 2009, his scholarship was not
renewed and the tuition bill is now did. Hardrick`s mother told the
congressional panel in 2011, you believe your child be taking care of on
and off the court throughout their college career. My insurance doesn`t
cover all of Kyle`s medical bills.
All of that back story, all of it, of 100 student athletes whose unpaid
labor and risk provides profit and revenue for entire industry, is part of
what made that level with Kevin Ware so gruesome.
It was gruesome on a hue visceral level because of the severity of the
injury, an obvious intensity and the physical trauma, but it was also
gruesome because in that moment where all of us were sitting and enjoying
and watching the game, all the people making the money off it, including
the advertisers and athletic directors and apparel companies had to reckon
with the brief instinct with the notion that that agony that kid was in the
very -- was the very thing that made all of this possible.
We will be right back for quick through.
HAYES: This is retired Atlanta Georgia schools superintendent Doctor
Beverly Hall brandishing her national superintendent of the year award from
the American Association of school administrators in 2009. Today, she`s
facing charges of conspiracy and racketeering in one of the biggest public
education scandals in American history. That story is coming up.
But first, I want to share the three awesomest things I saw on the internet
The first, the story of pioneering rocket scientist Yvonne Brill. Brill
died last week at the age of 88. And since she wasn`t exactly a household
name, let me just tell you this woman was a scientific bad ass. Brill
developed and patented something called the electrothermal hydrazine
thruster, I think. And as the blog IO9 explained, it`s a rocket propulsion
system used by communication satellites to maintain a geosynchronous orbit
around earth, each (INAUDIBLE) industry standard to this day, end quote.
In other words, when satellites go up into space, they can be pulled off
orbit, but the propulsion system Brill developed keeps them right where
they need to be determined.
Brill`s work earned her the national medical of technology and innovation
in 2011, but you wouldn`t know that based on the lead paragraph of Brill
obituary in "the New York Times" paper record which reads, and I`m not
making this up as follows, she made a mean beef stroganoff, followed her
husband from job to job, and took eight years off from work to raise
Brill`s children. The world`s best mom, her son, Matthew, said.
Yvonne Brill was a trail blazer in her field, and yet "the Times" chose to
mention her cooking skills and husband following abilities before of any of
her professional accomplishments. As you can imagine, the good people of
the Internets didn`t take kindly to this characterization after an
avalanche have ticked off tweets, "the Times" changed the lead, taking out
the beef stroganoff part and adding the brilliant rocket scientist part
acknowledging the proper hierarchy of rocket science for (INAUDIBLE) in
this particular subjects like.
Number two is a submission from our twitter fan @autographcat pointing to
us a video posted on Robert Cole (ph) which is blog. Meet kid Socrates.
This 9-year-old boy from suburban D.C. not only make you question the
meaning of life. He will make you question your very place in the
universe, sitting on a back patio, using ants as a metaphor, the boy gives
the most succinct profound explanation of the concept of the multi-verse
that is different parallel universe that might exist right now that we are
unaware of that I have ever heard. There`s that line in the play "six
degrees of separation" where a father recalls his child`s second grade
school class and the phenomenal art they make, Matisses, everyone of them,
he says. Spend enough time around kids and there`s a Socrates were looking
in all of them. The best part of seven philosophy is learning again can be
child-like with wonder.
And finally, a big reveal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The earth is just one planet in the galaxies. You can
compare that to an ant on the patio in the backyard. The ant doesn`t know
there`s more than the patio here. He just keeps walking. He doesn`t know
there`s -- he`s just part of lots of worlds. And the human race is sort of
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: And finally, a big reveal. Our new hash tag. On the weekend, it
was uppers. Now that we`re on primetime and presumed we leave all in the
week and functioning for several hours, that upper label no longer works.
A friend of mine joked to me that if we cut upper, would be like the Utah
jazz of cable news. The NBA jazz franchise began in 1974 in the city of
New Orleans where their name was fitting before moving to the land of the
great Salt Lake where it`s well, let`s take charitably less fitting.
So, we asked for your votes and the winners were #inners. Of course, there
were a few notable runners-up #suppers, #innies and #allers. And my
personal favorite #allinskys, but we are nothing yet not a Democratic show.
So Inners are the new Uppers, and submit your click nominees to the hash
tag #click3. You can find all the links for tonight`s click3 on our Web
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HAYES: Suspects in an Atlanta cheating scandal which involved more schools
and teachers than any other in American history have until the end of the
day tomorrow to turn themselves in.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: According to the district attorney`s office,
test answer sheets were altered, fabricated, and falsely certified. Test
scores were inflated, and did not reflect students` actual academic
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: These are 34 teachers, principals and other high school, other
school officials were indicted on Friday, accused of covering up a scandal
in which teachers would help thousands of students cheat on standardized
testing to achieve higher scores.
As of now, zero have turned themselves in. The indictment paints a picture
of a culture that were awarded cheaters punished whistle blowers and
covered up deception. According to a report in the "New York times,"
teachers at one school sat in a locked windowless room every afternoon
during the week of state testing raising students` scores by erasing wrong
answers and marking them right. But they alleges that the rock went all
the way to top.
Also indicted was former Atlanta schools superintendent Doctor Beverly
Hall. And what makes the story so remarkable is the eyes of school
reformers, Hall was a bona fide rock star. In 2009, she was named
superintendent of the year by the American Association of School
Administrators, earning her an invitation to the White House by education
secretary Arne Duncan. And according to "the Time," she also managed to
earn herself over $500,000 in performance bonuses during her tenure as
As testing, high stake testing comes pioneer means for evaluating teachers
and federal state policies like George W. Bush`s "no child left behind" and
President Obama`s "race to the top" reward teachers and schools for
producing higher scores, we shouldn`t be surprised this also incentivizes
In the last years, we have seen the superintendent of El Paso schools go to
prison for removing low-performing kids from classes to boost test scores
along with investigations showing test irregularities in Arizona,
California, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Ohio and Washington D.C.
This is not just a story about the Atlanta school district. This is a
story about the grand national experiment we are undertaking in public
education in this country and its little discussed dark side.
Joining me at the table, Goldie Taylor, MSNBC contributor, write for
thegrio.com and Atlanta resident, Derrell Bradford, executive director of
better education for kids and education reform organization, and Pedro
Noguera, professor of education at NYU.
Great to have you, guys, here.
Goldie, you`re fresh off the plane from hot Atlanta. Thank you very much
for coming. It`s great to have you here. This must be a huge story in
GOLDIE TAYLOR, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: It`s a big story, but it really has been
for us for a very long time. I was among the parents who welcomed Beverly
Hall into Atlanta. We gave her receptions. We hosted Atlanta Business
League perceptions. We brought the chamber of commerce together for her
because we were really looking forward to, you know, a grand new day of
reforms in the Atlanta public school system. What we got was a widespread
pervasive cheating scandal that is, thus far, unparalleled across the
HAYES: She was really popular. I mean, she was there for a really long
time, I mean, maybe a decade, I`m going to say something on the order of
that, which is hard to find a comparison. And she became this kind of star
figure in certain ways, right? And I mean, I think, this is something we
have seen across the country, which is the figure of the school turnaround
artist has become a kind of celebrity in our culture, right? Michelle
Reese on the cover of Newsweeklies, and Beverly Hall had that kind of
stature in Atlanta.
TAYLOR: It`s ironic. She had that stature among educators across the
country. She had status among national media. She quickly lost it among
parents and other teachers in Atlanta. And that`s really the irony here.
HAYES: Did she lose it before there was a 2011 report that was the
precipitating event novel, which was an 800-page report by state
investigators of this cheating ring.
TAYLOR: She did it based on management star, really alone. She was aloof,
stand office, disconnected, unlike any other superintendent that we had
PEDRO NOGUERA, PROFESSOR, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY: Well, I would say, I mean, I
think I can`t comment on her style of leadership. I would say that she was
recognized throughout the country for what she had done. And before we buy
into the indictment, we have to acknowledge that --
HAYES: Yes. Good point.
NOGUERA: There was other data showing that the progress in Atlanta was
real. SAT scores raised. No one has said those kids cheated on the SAT.
they made scores raised. No one has that NAEP scores were false.
HAYES: The NAEP which is a national standardized test.
NOGUERA: So, I think that, you know, it`s ironic here that we have a
superintendent who is now, what, $7.5 million bail. We haven`t --
HAYES: Basically 45 years, 45 years in prison.
NOGUERA: This is -- and we should not make light of cheating at all, and
there should be accountability and a thorough investigation, but there`s
not been an indictment yet against a banker in this country, and the
disproportionate kind of pressure --
HAYES: I mean, I agree with you. They shouldn`t indict the bankers. But,
if you are running a cheater ring, you should pay some consequences.
NOGUERA: Absolutely. So the real question then is was she running a
NOGUERA: And is this investigation that needs to occur here in Atlanta
going to really shed light on how it happened and why it happened, because
Atlanta is not alone.
HAYES: Let me interject this quickly because this is important, right, I
don`t want to convict her on cable news. We never do that in cable news.
If there`s a cable news due process.
Look. This is someone who is under indictment, right? She has denied
charges in the past. She also, and this is important, the statute that the
indictment stems from is Georgia`s version of the Rico, right? Which is a
conspiracy statute which is something prosecutors use to -- which often
allows them to sidestep showing some kind of direct moment of implicated
guilt in the guilty party, right? If you`re part of a conspiracy you
should have known or did know, so one could say the fact they have chosen
to indictment her using that statute is slightly exculpatory, just to put
that on the table.
DERRELL BRADFORD, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, BETTER EDUCATION FOR KIDS: I do -- I
also don`t want to tar and feather her on national television. She`s got
due process and she does maintain her own innocence. But, I do feel like
on one side, the fact that the ostensible punishment, right, the bail, that
it`s sort of like a Rico kind of, you know, Gambino thing, is sent a very
strong message to communities in America that this can`t be tolerated.
Like this kind of behavior is absolutely unacceptable, particularly when
the kids are, you know, overwhelming minority and overwhelmingly poor.
They need the most transparency and the most help.
TAYLOR: Which is the case. That, you know, my kids attended Atlanta
public schools. They graduated from Atlanta public schools. But when you
look at the schools that were most impacted, they were the black and brown
schools in Atlanta, 100 Atlanta public schools, 58 of them were impacted.
They are largely black and brown.
And to say that there is not a robbery going on here, when these teachers
reap the benefits, these principals reap financial benefits from governor
Harbor herself, with financial benefits, while this very same schools who
lost federal funding while there is very sanction for robbed of their
collective futures, I think there ought to be a high dollar for that when
Beverly Hall herself is off on vacation today.
HAYES: And we should make a distinction, also, between whether she herself
is accountable for this. The actual Maltese since we know pretty - is
pretty well documented.
BRADFORD: And I do want to say that like even though you noted earlier
this is like the largest scandal of its kind, under an investigation in the
history of the country. It`s 33 teachers and a superintendent right? And
there are a lot more people doing the right thing, who are in classrooms,
who are not behaving in this way. So, it`s really important that when we
find instances of this, and if this is revealed to be what it certainly
looks like, that you don`t throw every other teacher under the bus.
TAYLOR: But --
But 33 are under indictment. There is supposedly hundreds who were fired.
HAYES: In the original , there is 178 teachers and principals.
NOGUERA: You can have to keep it in perspective, right? That this not
just a New York city problem, it is a Houston problem, it is a D.C.
problem, and that then begs the question, what is going on here? Why is
cheating become such a fixation in our schools?
HAYES: I want you to hold the thought because I want to answer the
question after we take this break. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t get it. All this so we score higher on the
state tests? If we`re teaching the kids the test questions, what is it
assessing in them?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nothing, it assesses us. They can say the schools
are improving. The scores stay down, they can`t.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nuking the stats.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Excuse me?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Making robberies into larcenies, making rapes
disappear. We juke the stats and majors become colonels.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wherever you go, there you are.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: I clause of my contract, we can play a wire clipping. Just FYI.
So, you tee up the question, and the reason we played the clip, right, is
like OK, but why are we? Because we are seeing that in a lot of places.
That "USA today" investigation was amazing. And I think are completely
under covered. So, what is the answer to why we are seeing that?
NOGUERA: Well, I think, that segment gets at it, right guys? When you put
this kind of pressure on people, that is to say your salaries, your
bonuses, your school is going to be determined and effected by how well
students perform, then you create an incentive for some people who are
unethical to cheat.
But you also do something else. You really cheat children of a well-
rounded education. We have very clear evidence right now that kids` test
scores are going up and they`re still taking remedial courses in college
because what they`re good at now is taking a test. They still don`t write
well, they still don`t know how to problem solve.
And this is the whole problem with the way we view the assessment under no
child left behind. We have completely distorted learning, so that now kids
are focused on preparing for a test, but they`re not focused on how to be
prepared for life, to think independently, and that`s what has been
compromising all of this. And that is why Arne Duncan - I had to name him,
because he commended Beverly Hall. He deserves some of the -- he`s
culpable in this, too, because the whole administration under Bush and
Obama, have put this kind of pressure on schools to narrowly focus on test
scores at the expense of ensuring that our kids are getting the education
BRADFORD: I will tell you, I think part of this is like generational. So,
when I grew up, I took standardized assessments all the time, right? And
so to me, it is like the --
HAYES: Look, statutorily, they were not linked to the amount of federal
dollars that flowed in necessarily.
BRADFORD: So I was like four. So, they didn`t share that with me, right,
but what I knew was that --
HAYES: I see what you`re saying.
BRADFORD: What I knew is that I took them and at the time, I did not feel
like I was getting any, you know, less of a great education.
Here is what the benefit of assessment is. Assessments give us more
information about where our kids are. And you can argue -- like, lots of
views on NCLB, the last reviews are race to the top, you know, there are
lots of people who don`t normally agree on these things who agree there`s a
benefit here, but they`re imperfect. We know so much more, particularly
about our neediest kids now than we did before no child left behind and
that`s about assessments and that is absolutely about assessment on
HAYES: There`s two steps on this, right? There`s assessments and then
there is linking assessments, two things like paper, performance or whether
a teacher is fired or not or whether a principle is promoter or that
principal makes a monetary bonus. So, we can have a world of assessment
that stops short of the world in which those assessments are tied to this
kind of performance ban. I think one of the things we saw in baseball in
the steroids era was that people who hit more homer made a lot more money
and guess what, a lot of people started juicing because of it.
TAYLOR: Well, you know, they were corking the bats. But I have to tell
TAYLOR: I got to tell you that, you know, I understand and I agree with
the context that says we over test students based on very superficial goals
that don`t really mount anything on the outcome of things. But at the end
of the day, this is about integrity.
We are talking about teachers sitting in a blacked out room, erasing and
correcting answers for children in a teacher or a principal standing guard
at the door. We are talking about teachers being threatened if they came
forward. We are talking about writing memos that had to be burned after
the meeting was over. If that is not a criminal conspiracy, I don`t what
is. I know my Mike Vowels (ph). I know Dick Height (ph), the people who
investigated this. They are as straight shots as they come.
HAYES: And let me say this also. It was also two teachers, the reason we
know about this is two teachers blew the whistle. They wore wires, who
felt so terrible about doing it. The most jaw-dropping detail in all this
was the school -- I think it`s Waller, Waller. Parks middle school,
Christopher Waller, they went from 24 percent proficiency to 86 percent in
one year. And the jump was so much that they skipped through the level at
which they qualified for federal money as underscores to serve school and
walked away from $750,000.
TAYLOR: $750,000 while Chris Waller took home thousands of dollars in
bonuses. That is theft.
HAYES: Is there a way to make assessments, this kind of central
accountable mechanism that isn`t going to have the negative affects here?
Like is there a way to not throw the baby out with the bathwater? If we`re
going forward, the ways we should think about applying this sort of test
NOGUERA: Well, assessment has to be an integral part of learning. You
have to assessed to make sure children are learning. That they are making
progress. But what you want to do is remove the high stakes associated
with it. You want to make sure that if kids didn`t get it, that they get
it. You know, come back and do it again until there`s real evidence that
kids are making progress.
What we have done wrong, I think, is we have put this pressure on a single
test, this moment in time when you take this exam, and what that has done
is to undermine and depreciate the rest of the whole year when we should be
making sure the kids are excited about learning, that there is real
evidence they are learning throughout the year, not just on that single
HAYES: One of the things, I think, to think about here is this is far on
the -- this is an extreme example of a whole spectrum of things of people
dealing with high-stakes testing, right? And this is the most extreme kind
of thing, but things like teaching through the test are other ways or maybe
just being better teachers which is the argument of the people who favor
Pedro Noguera of New York University, Derrell Bradford of Better Education
with Kids, Goldie Taylor, MSNBC contributor and Atlanta resident who is
here in New York.
Thank you for joining us. That was awesome.
That is "All in" for this evening. I`m Chris Hayes. The Rachel Maddow
show starts now.
Good evening, Rachel.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST, THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW: You did it.
HAYES: We did it.
MADDOW: You did it. You launched. You launched.
HAYES: Happy birthday.
MADDOW: Thank you. This was a very, very nice birthday present --
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