The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer
MR. LEHRER: Good evening. I'm Jim Lehrer. On the NewsHour tonight, Bosnian peace talks open in Dayton. Kwame Holman has our report. Sending U.S. troops to Bosnia, a second set of California voices talk to Jeffrey Kaye and Elizabeth Farnsworth. American kids are failing history. Margaret Warner debriefs Pat Wingert of "NewsWeek." Localizing the global economy: David Gergen has a dialogue with author Rosabeth Moss Kanter. And the passing of a friend from Georgia with Charlayne Hunter-Gault. It all follows our summary of the news this Wednesday. NEWS SUMMARY
MR. LEHRER: The Bosnian peace talks began today at Wright- Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. Secretary of State Christopher did the formal opening. He invited the leaders of Bosnia, Serbia, and Croatia to shake hands as the first session began. He said they must reach a firm and permanent peace if they expect the United States and its allies to help implement it.
WARREN CHRISTOPHER, Secretary of State: The American people and the United States Congress are asking serious and appropriate questions about U.S. participation in the implementation force. They will watch closely for signs that the parties are finally ready to lay down their arms and to begin a lasting peace. The United States will not send troops where there is no peace to keep.
MR. LEHRER: Those very questions came up this afternoon when the bipartisan leaders of Congress met with President Clinton. Both sides said later the President still had a lot of convincing to do.
REP. NEWT GINGRICH, Speaker of the House: Sen. Daschle and Congressman Gephardt, as well as Sen. Dole, and myself, all indicated that the initial briefings had not been effective in getting more support, in fact, if anything, there was less support than a month ago, and that the President faced a very substantial challenge in convincing the American people, in convincing the Congress.
REP. RICHARD GEPHARDT, Minority Leader: There's a lot of information that has to go out to not only the American people but the Congress about this issue. It's in its early stages. It is not done. We aren't even beginning. They just started the negotiating in Dayton today. So we all agree there's a lot of information flow that has to go on to the Congress and the people.
MR. LEHRER: The same group also discussed their differences on the budget and the need to increase the federal debt limit soon. They diverged on whether extending the debt ceiling should be linked to an agreement on budget reconciliation.
SEN. ROBERT DOLE, Majority Leader: The President made it very clear up front. There's no linkage between the debt ceiling and the budget as far as he's concerned. We have a little different view, but we expressed that. We talked about a lot of things and agreed that we'd continue to talk. There is a perception among many Republican Senators and House members that there should be linkage.
SEN. TOM DASCHLE, Minority Leader: The key is not the date as much as it is the disconnection, the disassociation between increasing the debt limit and anything that we do on reconciliation. That's the key issue. There ought to be no effort to try to link it to.
MR. LEHRER: Differences between the House and Senate budget bills are being worked out in Conference Committee. Republicans said they plan to have a final bill to President Clinton by mid November. The President has repeatedly said he will veto it. In economic news today, the Commerce Department reported the Indexof Leading Economic Indicators was down .1 percent in September. The Index is the government's chief forecasting gauge for economic activity in the next six to nine months. The House today passed a bill to ban one form of late term abortions. The vote was 288 to 139. It was the first time since the 1973 Roe V. Wade decision Congress has voted to prohibit any kind of abortion. Supporters of the bill call the operation a partial birth abortion. Opponents say the procedure is rarely used and only when a mother's life is in danger, or when there are severe fetal defects. The bill now goes to the Senate. Secretary of Defense Perry apologized to Japan today for the rape of a 12-year-old school girl on Okinawa. Three U.S. servicemen are charged with the September attack. Perry, in Japan for official talks, spoke at the National Press Club in Tokyo.
WILLIAM PERRY, Secretary of Defense: On behalf of all members of the armed forces I want to express my deep sorrow and anger for this terrible act--deep sorrow for the little girl who was the tragic victim and for her family--and anger at the perpetrators whose actions not only caused a tragedy for the victims but also unfairly reflected on the many fine American military personnel in Japan.
MR. LEHRER: Perry said the 47,000 U.S. troops stationed in Japan will remain but some may be relocated to reduce the number on Okinawa. Millions of black South Africans got their first chance to vote in local elections today. Black and white voters lined up at polling stations to elect candidates for 700 municipal and rural councils. The elections are expected to extend power the black majority won on the national level last year. There are currently no black elected local officials. The results will be announced on Friday. And that's it for the News Summary this Wednesday. Now it's on to peace talks in Dayton, sending U.S. troops to Bosnia, failing American history, a Gergen dialogue, and Charlayne remembers Hamilton Holmes. FOCUS - PEACE TALKS
MR. LEHRER: The opening of the Bosnian peace talks in Dayton, Ohio, is our lead story tonight. Kwame Holman has our report.
MR. HOLMAN: As the official host, Secretary of State Warren Christopher opened the peace talks this afternoon at Wright- Patterson Air Force Base, talks that could lead to a U.S. troop deployment in Bosnia.
SPOKESMAN: The Honorable Warren Christopher, Secretary of State.
MR. HOLMAN: The Americans were joined by European Union negotiator Carl Bildt of Sweden and representatives of Russia, Britain, France, and Germany, the so called contact group of nations that has labored for years for a Balkan settlement. An unusual procession followed: President Slobodan Milosevic of Serbia and what remains of the old Yugoslav confederation; President Franjo Tudjman of Croatia; and finally, President Alia Izetbegovich of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Since 1991, the three often have been at war, their sporadic efforts at peace interrupted by attempts to take each other's territory by force or negotiation. They barely acknowledged each other and said nothing until Sec. Christopher came across the room to organize hand shakes for the cameras. Christopher formally launched the talks with a warning that this may be the last chance to end a conflict that has taken as many as 1/4 million lives and created 3 million refugees.
WARREN CHRISTOPHER, Secretary of State: We have an urgent and important purpose today. We're here to give Bosnia and Herzegovina a chance to be a country at peace, not a killing field, a place where people can sleep in their homes, walkto work, and worship in their churches, mosques, and synagogues without fear of violence or death. We're here to prevent a wider war that would undermine European security at a time when the whole continent should finally be at peace. To the three presidents I say to you that it's within your power to chart a better course for the future of the people of the former Yugoslavia. The United States, the European Union, and Russia, indeed, the entire international community will help you succeed. While the world can and will help you make peace, only you can ensure that this process will succeed. And you must begin today.
MR. HOLMAN: Christopher then laid out three conditions for a peace agreement.
SEC. WARREN CHRISTOPHER: First, Bosnia and Herzegovina must continue to exist as a single state within internationally recognized borders and with a single international personality. The principles to which the parties have agreed provide a firm foundation to achieve that goal. Second, the settlement here must take into account the special history and special significance of the city and environs of Sarajevo. Third, any agreement reached here must guarantee the human rights of all the citizens of this region. This terrible war has uprooted people from every ethnic community, and all must be able to return to their homes or receive just compensation. And it is vital that those who have committed atrocities are held accountable.
MR. HOLMAN: And he discussed the use of U.S. forces if peace is achieved.
SEC. WARREN CHRISTOPHER: Before we deploy, we must know that the parties have reached agreement and that they are prepared to stick to it. They must use the time when our troops are on the ground to go forward with implementation and to consolidate the peace. And the implementation force must also have a clear exit strategy. This will be a long journey, but it all starts here. Let's get down to earth, work, and let's reaffirm our pledge to succeed here at Dayton.
MR. HOLMAN: European negotiator Carl Bildt put the stakes in more human terms.
CARL BILDT, European Negotiator: Few things have affected me more in this brutal conflict than the fate of the innocent children that have been caught up by it. I cannot forget that picture of the little girl who after the grenade fell on the marketplace in Sarajevo in late August turned to her mother and asked where her hands had gone, only to find out that she had also lost her father. We owe what we do here in Dayton in order to achieve success to those innocent children. We owe it to all of those men and women who have brought aid to hundreds of thousands of Bosnians who might otherwise not have survived. We want to see Bosnia and all of the other states of former Yugoslavia free of war and joining the European family of nations in peace and in prosperity.
MR. HOLMAN: The Yugoslavs did not speak, and Christopher asked the press to leave to be invited back at a date uncertain, either when peace is achieved, or the talks collapse in failure. SERIES - TROOPS TO BOSNIA? CALIFORNIA VIEWS
MR. LEHRER: Now, another sampling of what Americans think at this point about sending U.S. soldiers to protect a Bosnian peace. Elizabeth Farnsworth is on the road for three days in California. Tonight, for her second stop, she's at the Korean American Museum in Los Angeles.
MS. FARNSWORTH: This museum was designed to build bridges among the many cultures found in Los Angeles. In this county, one third of the population of nine million was born outside the United States. Many of these immigrants have had their own experiences with war and with American foreign policy. I will be talking to several immigrants about the newest U.S. involvement, Bosnia, but first, a background report from Jeffrey Kaye of KCET-Los Angeles.
JEFFREY KAYE: After three years of persecution and war, last week the Milovanovich family finally found a place of refuge. Arriving at LA Airport from Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, the family of three was reunited with relatives who had fled bloodshed nine months earlier. Sladjana Milovanovich is a Bosnian Muslim. Her husband, Branislav, is part Serbian, part Croatian. Their inter- ethnic marriage made survival impossible, because in the former Yugoslavia, those groups are mortal enemies. The Milovanoviches fled from Bosnia in 1992, hoping to find refuge in Serbia, but they and their nine-year-old son, Slavisha, were treated as outcasts.
SLADJANA MILOVANOVICH, Bosnian Refugee: [speaking through interpreter] His teacher, when she heard that his mom is Muslim, she asked him to stand in front of the class and to answer the question, who his mom is. He was very afraid to admit that his mom is Muslim, and he was also very afraid of the teacher.
MR. KAYE: The members of the Milovanovich family are among the approximately 2 million refugees to have arrived in the United States since 1975. U.S. law defines refugees as people who have fled persecution. The largest number of refugees has settled in California. Here, people escaping wars and conflicts have been joined by immigrants who have come to America seeking economic salvation. Millions have brought their cultures and their commerce to the Los Angeles area. Koreans do business in their own language, as do Russians and Armenians. A remarkable cultural mosaic has also emerged. At a recent school festival, Asian and black children joined with Latinos and whites in a Serbo-Croatian dance. A neighborhood psychic advertises in three languages. The Hollywood Social Security Office is multi-lingual. At the African Community Resource Center, an Ethiopian counselor assists refugees from war- torn Somalia and from Central America.
WOMAN: [speaking to group] From all the distant lands where our people have sojourned.
MR. KAYE: Refugees, immigrants, and their offspring have also brought to America different perspectives on U.S. foreign policy, their viewpoints often formed as a result of war, conflicts in which U.S. participation or lack of involvement played a crucial role. Fifty years ago, U.S. troops liberated Nazi concentration camps. Last week, at a Los Angeles synagogue, Jewish survivors joined with U.S. Army veterans to commemorate the liberation. Survivor Sigfried Halbreich, a Polish Jew who spent the entire war in various camps, including Auschwitz, said American troops who entered the death camps were stunned by the carnage. Halbreich was an interpreter for Allied Commander General Dwight Eisenhower. He remembers Eisenhower asking about the numbers that the Germans tattooed on the arm of each inmate.
SIGFRIED HALBREICH, Holocaust Survivor: He asked me, tell me, "Did it hurt you very much when they tattooed this number on your arm?" I looked at him. I could not understand. I says, my gosh, what kind of people are the Americans? They see what's going on here, full of bodies, dead people, what's happened, and he asked if this was hurting? But later on, I understood, he had no ideas. The Americans, it was strange to them to face something like this.
MR. KAYE: And so that was the only way he could connect with you on a human level?
SIGFRIED HALBREICH: He wanted to, yeah.
MR. KAYE: Despite the fact that the Americans seemed unprepared for the genocide they encountered, Halbreich was grateful for their presence. His only wish: That the U.S. had entered World War II sooner.
SIGFRIED HALBREICH: They could have acted faster, faster. But they did the best they could, and this is the solution actually, because of them we are alive. We are very thankful. But not only we, the Jews who survived, but whole Europe survived.
MR. KAYE: Not all refugees are so thankful for American military intervention. El Rescate, which means "rescue" in Spanish, provides Social Services to some of the 1 1/2 million Central American immigrants who live in Southern California. In the 80's, many demonstrated against U.S. support for the governments they had fled in El Salvador and Guatemala. El Rescate's social services director, Jaime Flores, left El Salvador in 1981. He said he had no choice; his family was politically active, and he believes his brother was killed by government-backed death squads.
JAIME FLORES, Salvadoran Immigrant: The United States was seen as an enemy because he was mingling in the internal affairs of El Salvador. The United States was financing the military, and the military were the ones who were killing our people, so, you know we hated the United States during those days.
MR. KAYE: But Flores says he also saw the United States as his only viable place of refuge. Other refugees, who once saw the United States as an ally, also have mixed reviews of its foreign policy. There are now 1 million Vietnamese refugees in the country. After the collapse of South Vietnam in 1975, a first wave of Vietnamese fled to America. They were housed temporarily in resettlement camps. Most had close ties to the U.S. military effort in South Vietnam, among them Tony Lam. He owns a restaurant in Southern California. He is also a city councilman, he says the only Vietnamese-born elected official in the country. Lam says that instead of retreating from Vietnam, America should have escalated the war.
TONY LAM, Vietnamese Immigrant: We believe in the U.S. commitment in Vietnam, and that bothered us. We have so much promise, and the U.S. broken the promise. This why I was so bitter.
MR. KAYE: And now as the debate over the U.S. role in the former Yugoslavia intensifies, refugees from that region arrive here in increasing numbers. The Milovanoviches hope that diplomatic initiatives will bring peace to their native land, which they would like to visit one day as American tourists.
MS. FARNSWORTH: So how have refugees' experiences with U.S. foreign policy shaped their attitudes towards Bosnia? We are joined by two of the people you just met in that report--Tony Lam and Jaime Flores. We also are joined by Connie Kang, who left Korea in 1952; Henry Slucki, a French Jew who fled Europe in 1942 to escape the Nazis; Zareh Sinanyan, who came from Armenia in 1988; and Faisal Roble, an Ethiopian Somalian, who left Somalia in 1981. Thank you all for being with us. You all come from countries that have experienced the devastation of war--of ethnic cleansing, of Jews, of Armenians. Now you're in this country. You have different experiences with U.S. foreign policy. Should U.S. troops go to Bosnia to enforce a peace? Based on your experience, what do you think, Tony Lam?
TONY LAM, Vietnamese Immigrant: Well, based on my experience, I feel that the U.S. do have a, a role in the NATO force, and there are two different wars, Vietnam and Bosnian war, two different wars. We have a role to play as a peacekeeping force anda commitment there, but don't ever get into a quagmire like Vietnam.
MS. FARNSWORTH: Don't get in a quagmire like Vietnam?
TONY LAM: Like Vietnam.
MS. FARNSWORTH: What would be the quagmire in Bosnia that you would fear?
TONY LAM: Well, the, the kind of faction that has shattered the country during the three and a half years, and it's--I'm just afraid the safety of the troops. However, the mission should be clearly defined, and don't go into any--as I mentioned earlier-- any broken promise. We've been led in through a primrose path ourselves in the past, and you know, we had so much things believing in the economic survival of Vietnam.
MS. FARNSWORTH: By "we," you're talking about South Vietnamese believing--
TONY LAM: I'm talking about South Vietnamese.
MS. FARNSWORTH: --that the U.S. would really help.
TONY LAM: Exactly. And I'm talking about the commitment in Vietnam then, but then now we have a role to play.
MS. FARNSWORTH: Mr. Slucki, what do you think? Do you think that U.S. troops belong in Bosnia? I mean, here's a situation where there have been these terrible crimes against humanity really, with thousands of people in mass graves in Bosnia, the victim of Serbs, and there have been other crimes by other sides in the war. Should the U.S. have gotten involved earlier, should we be involved now?
HENRY SLUCKI, Holocaust Survivor: It's a very difficult question to answer, because it gets very complicated. When we were talking about say the Second World War, the issues were much clearer. There were the--there was the good side, and there was the bad side. When you get into issues of ethnic cleansing on one side, when you get into ethnic struggles within a country, our role I think should be one of coming in to help abolish the warfare and try to get the sides together and let them settle their differences as they are now around a table.
MS. FARNSWORTH: That's pretty much what the U.S. did.
HENRY SLUCKI: Right.
MS. FARNSWORTH: But you don't think troops should go?
HENRY SLUCKI: Well, you need troops perhaps to enforce that but not on one side or another, but, rather, to keep the peace, and to establish the peace.
MS. FARNSWORTH: Are you worried that the troops look like they're on one side, on the Bosnian Muslim side?
HENRY SLUCKI: It's, it's very easy to get on to one side or another by simply being present and then if you happen to be shot at, and you have to defend yourself, then you get yourself involved on one side or another.
MS. FARNSWORTH: Uh-huh. Ms. Kang, what do you think?
CONNIE KANG, Korean Immigrant: Well, I agree with both Tony and Henry that the situation is extremely complex, but I am a refugee from North Korea, and I have lived through the Korean War, and I feel that help is needed, and we have an opportunity to bring about peace. And unless the United States participates as an important part of the NATO force, I fear that peace might not work. So in that sense, I reluctantly feel that we have really no choice and that we do owe our commitment to the NATO, which is the strongest military alliance that exists today. So I'm speaking from the standpoint of refugee who is grateful to this day that the United States intervened, because, otherwise, the Korean Peninsula today would be under the hands of Communist North Korea, and there would be no freedom, and I wouldn't be able to say this.
MS. FARNSWORTH: And, Mr. Flores, you were critical of U.S. involvement in El Salvador. Do you think the U.S. should stay out of Bosnia, not be involved in a peace enforcement mission?
JAIME FLORES, Salvadoran Immigrant: I think the United States should stay out. The participation of the United States in the internal affairs in El Salvador cost us thousands and thousands of lives, you know. We, we did whatever we could politically in order to resolve our internal conflicts, but we couldn't because of this participation. And I think that the United States will engulf in another long war, you know, an international war, that we don't need anymore.
MS. FARNSWORTH: And, Mr. Sinanyan, what about you? In Armenia, people did--outside forces did not get involved, and there were the horrible killings of tens of thousands of Armenians. Should the U.S. get involved in Bosnia to make sure that it doesn't get any worse there?
ZAREH SINANYAN, Armenian Immigrant: Well, as far as the U.S. involvement in Bosnia is concerned, two questions are raised. One is a moral one; the other one is a practical. The moral question is if we do get involved in Bosnia, why don't we get involved in Rwanda and Somalia and Angola and Sri Lanka, and Nagorno-Karabakh, and Armenia.
MS. FARNSWORTH: Of course, we did get involved in Somalia, but why not Rwanda, let's say?
ZAREH SINANYAN: We know how it ended, so it's always questionable whether we should get involved. We should ask the question whether we should get involved before we get involved. And we don't have to leave then. And--
MS. FARNSWORTH: Just on that question, so your worry--you're saying, why Bosnia and not Rwanda, not other places where there have also been unspeakable atrocities?
ZAREH SINANYAN: Yes.
MS. FARNSWORTH: Does that mean, though, that we shouldn't get involved in Bosnia, or that we should have gotten involved in Rwanda?
ZAREH SINANYAN: The only reason to get involved in Bosnia is, is the moral reason. The world is responsible to do anything to prevent fighting, the killings from going on. But at the same time, if you do get involved there, Bosnia is on the forefront of media. Everyone hears about it. No one hears about the other wars, where the fighting is just as bad. So why don't we get involved in the rest of the wars? And the practical side of the question is that who is going to pay for it if the U.S. Army does get involved, whose sons are going to go and enforce the peace? The Americans are, and the Americans are already stretched with their taxes, and I don't think most of the Americans are willing to pay for any military involvement. Then there's another question, whether going to Bosnia and participating in the peacekeeping process is a planned out process.
MS. FARNSWORTH: Whether it's properly planned, properly set up?
ZAREH SINANYAN: Exactly. Exactly. Do we know the plan when we get in, when we get out, because like the latest U.S. and NATO involvement seemed as if a good initiative because they punished the Serbs and the mission was supposed to punish the military of the Serbs, but it ended up creating hundreds of thousands of Serbian refugees fleeing to Serbia, so the ethnic question, the moral question is, is worse in a way.
MS. FARNSWORTH: What about that? What do you think about that, Mr. Roble?
FAISAL ROBLE, Somalian Immigrant: Well, my view seems to more or less agree with Jaime and Mr.--Zareh. My attitude towards U.S. involvement in foreign affairs is mainly colored by U.S. experience in Somalia. It started with a very excellent mission which President Bush started, trustingly enough on Thanksgiving Eve. It helped many Somalias to tackle some famine problems caused by some political crisis. But, again, once we somehow dealt on the moral aspect ofthat crisis, we got confused when we get to the point of political involvement in Somalia, and in fact, the U.S. left before it finished its mission. So it was--
MS. FARNSWORTH: You, like Mr. Lamm, are concerned about keeping to the commitment once it's made?
FAISAL ROBLE: Well, it seems to me that the U.S. has stronger position when it gets involved in responding to moral crisis and moral issues. When it becomes a political issue, we often seem to lose. We lost in Vietnam because it was merely a poorly planned political involvement. The El Salvador situation is negative in the minds of many U.S.--American citizens, because it was more political interest that put us there, as opposed to moral question. The same in the German Nazi situation. We, we freed the Jews' Holocaust people, and we have very positive results there. With the Bosnian question, I think many Americans are asking themselves the question as to are we getting involved after 40 years and the ethnic cleansing has been completed or what.
MS. FARNSWORTH: What does that lead you to conclude?
FAISAL ROBLE: I don't think the U.S. should get involved in Bosnia, and I'm saying this as the only Muslim panelist here, mainly because I am very pessimistic what the U.S. would bring as a result. Would they stay to really save the Bosnians, which I have favored? But I'm not sure, given past experience, that we will stay there for long enough to protect the innocent, I'm not sure. And experience doesn't show me anything too.
MS. FARNSWORTH: It's interesting that just about everybody has a question, except those of you who are quite against U.S. involvement for--like you, Jaime, who think that it just would be a mistake--you have questions about commitment and the--how well the mission would be set up. What would the President have to say, Ms. Kang, to satisfy sort of any doubts you have, and what do you think the President should say now to satisfy the doubts that the American people apparently have?
CONNIE KANG: Well, I think the President has to say that this is more than a political decision, that the United States is doing this out of its humanitarianism. And, also, I worry about the provision of one year. Will the different sides wait it out, wait out the one year? I think if we're going to go in there and send the troops to maintain peace there, we really need to make a long- term commitment, and I think the United States has a chance to be a dependable, credible power today, and it is the only power right now, and I think we have that opportunity, and I--it is my hope that Congress will go along with the President. And, of course, that is in question at this moment, especially since Monday's decision.
TONY LAM: Provided that the Russians don't shovel arms and ammunition to the Serbs. And you know, that's a lot of things that I think that it has to be a--in agreement with not only between the fighting group but also between the superpower. Back in Vietnam, at that time--
MS. FARNSWORTH: I want to interrupt you, but we just have another second, and I just want to get Mr. Slucki's response to this.
HENRY SLUCKI: I was going to say that I think that this should be viewed not within simply the local area or the NATO issue but, rather, a United Nations worldwide, because nowadays, anything that happens in one corner of the world is going to influence and have impact throughout the world very quickly, much faster than it did ten, twenty, or even longer.
MS. FARNSWORTH: Okay. Well, thank you all very much for being with us.
MR. LEHRER: Still to come on the NewsHour tonight, failing history, a Gergen dialogue, and remembering Hamilton Holmes. FOCUS - HISTORY LESSON
MR. LEHRER: Elementary and secondary students do not know their history. Margaret Warner has the story.
MS. WARNER: Today the Department of Education released a national assessment of what elementary and high school students know about American history. And an appallingly high number didn't make the grade. The assessment was based on testing more than 22,000 students nationwide. It found, among other things, that 57 percent of high school seniors lacked even a basic knowledge of U.S. history. We get more from Pat Wingert, "NewsWeek's" education reporter. Welcome, Ms. Wingert.
PAT WINGERT, Newsweek: Hi.
MS. WARNER: What was this test designed to measure, first of all?
MS. WINGERT: Well, it wasn't supposed to just be a regurgitation of facts and figures. It was supposed to show that students really understood their history, that they understood, for example, that slaves weren't just African; that they lived in a certain way, that they were treated in a certain way. They had to show that they understood that.
MS. WARNER: And most of them didn't?
MS. WINGERT: And most of them didn't.
MS. WARNER: Is this a surprising result?
MS. WINGERT: It is a surprising result, because in 1987, there was a big study done on what American kids knew about history. And what they found, among other things, was that the vast majority of kids didn't know, for example, what part of the 19th century the Civil War occurred in. As a result of that study, there were all kinds of changes made, and a lot of high schools and elementary schools changed their history curriculums. A lot more kids now have to take three years of history while they're in high school. And so there was an expectation that we were going to see a real improvement in this test score. And there was also kind of an anticipation of improvement because the last national science test had shown an improvement, the last math test had shown an improvement. Just earlier this year, just in October, the geography test had shown that 75 percent of the students understood basic geography. SAT scores are up, and then we see this disappointing result in the history test.
MS. WARNER: So what's your theory? Why do you think history is lagging so far behind these other subjects?
MS. WINGERT: Well, I think if you look at something like math, you will see that math teachers got together and decided how to improve math education, and they, they have made significant changes in making it more relevant, more interesting. In history, there's a lot of confusion going on about what should be taught. Should it be Eurocentric? Should it be multicultural? There's a lot of debate going on. There's--you look at the history textbooks. A lot of them haven't been improved yet. You can pick up an American History textbook and find the only woman mentioned is in the section about Salem witches, which is pretty disappointing in this day and age. And then you look at the history teachers, and even though there are some wonderful history teachers out there who really get their students excited and are very passionate about it, we also know that one in twelve history teachers was a Phys. Ed. major. Thirteen percent of them never took a college course in history. Only 40 percent of them were history majors. So when you realize that a lot of history teachers would rather be called "coach" than "Professor," you start to understand why we are where we are.
MS. WARNER: Now, why when this initial report cameout eight or nine years ago, why was the profession of history teachers, be they coaches or history teachers, not able to get together the way the science and math teachers were? Is it political, I mean?
MS. WINGERT: History, much more so than any other subject, is political, and right now, there's national history standards that have been brought forward, and they're the cause of a tremendous amount of debate. Not only is there not agreement as to whether or not there should be history standards, which we didn't see in any of the other areas, but you have conservatives saying we should be, you know, presenting America as a great place and only emphasizing great white men, and then you have people who are more liberal saying, well, there are no Asian-Americans in our history books; there are--Hispanics don't exist in our history books. American History should be a reflection of who America is. And because this debate is raging, it is not surprising that we don't have a unified front on what kind of history education we should be doing.
MS. WARNER: And so it was different kinds of history being taught in different kinds of schools?
MS. WINGERT: Well, that's right. And also, when you have a confused focus, I think that teachers end up doing different things from year to year. You don't have students going from one class to another understanding, or the teachers understanding what they had the year before. You know, when you look at these history results, you will find that the high school kids did a lot worse than the lower school kids.
MS. WARNER: Well, that was interesting. In fact, in fourth and in eighth grade, they weren't doing that badly. What happens?
MS. WINGERT: Well, my sense is that in elementary schools, you're much more likely to have teachers integrating their curriculums. And we, we know so much about how to educate kids these days. We know that if you have children in a class and you are having them learn about history and at the same time reading those original sources, or reading novels about the same period of time, they're going to learn so much more, they're going to be so much more excited, they're going to understand it so much better, and it's so much more likely to happen in an elementary school today than in a high school. So maybe there's some hope coming up from those scores that we're seeing in those, in those younger children, but it was really disappointing to see how poorly American kids did on knowing their own history.
MS. WARNER: Then there was also a large gap between white and Asian students versus black and Hispanic. Was that gap the same as you see in other subjects, or is it worse in history?
MS. WINGERT: It was about the same that you'd see in other areas. The thing that was probably more surprising is that even kids from very rich backgrounds, whose parents graduated from college, didn't do much better than the average kid. I mean, usually we see kids who come from families with college backgrounds doing a lot better, and so we say, well, socioeconomic, but in this case, it wasn't true. The other thing that was really interesting, I thought, in this study was that private school kids did significantly better than the public school kids. In a number of other national tests, we haven't seen much of a difference. So we can expect that this will re-ignite debate about are public schools or private schools better? Are public schools failing?
MS. WARNER: And is there anything about the way history is being taught in private schools versus public schools, any consistent thread that you can point to?
MS. WINGERT: The only thing that you can probably really point to is that they're more likely to have teachers who are--have a history background and are--because private school teachers generally are not as well paid, they're probably more passionate about their subject. So that may be a reflection too. It also may just be that the parents, parents are picking a school that reflects what, what they care about, their focus, their values. So that may have something to do with it too. But we don't see this in other areas, so it was surprising to see it in history.
MS. WARNER: Well, Ms. Wingert, thanks very much for being with us.
MS. WINGERT: Thank you. DIALOGUE - WORLD CLASS
MR. LEHRER: Now, a Gergen dialogue. David Gergen, editor-at-large of "U.S. News & World Report," engages Rosabeth Moss Kanter, professor at the Harvard School of Business, author of World Class: Thriving Locally in the Global Economy.
DAVID GERGEN, U.S. News & World Report: Dr. Kanter, it's been clear for a long time that if American corporations jumped into the game of global competition, they can do extremely well and corporations like Intel and Motorola and Boeing and Microsoft, they have really led American business back from the early 1980's. Now, your book comes along and argues it's not just corporations but communities need to get into the same game.
ROSABETH MOSS KANTER, Author, World Class: Well, yes. I mean, cities can be sources of globally relevant skills and create jobs for the people in them by being international centers of trade or of manufacturing or of innovation. They can not only build more jobs for the future, but they can help the companies, small and mid-size companies, in those cities tap new markets, export markets. They can create new kinds of enterprises that bring them into the future, and they can do something for the quality of life of all the people that live there by starting to meet world standards, not just regional standards, but be places that are crossroads of world tourism, world travel, and world trade.
MR. GERGEN: Now, you've spotlighted three cities that trade--both the prowess in manufacturing or prowess in innovation or prowess in trade.
ROSABETH MOSS KANTER: Yes. I chose Boston not necessarily because it was the best but it was a very good example of a city that's flourishing because of innovation, like Silicon Valley, San Jose, like Austin, Texas, like Denver, which is growing jobs, a lot of export-related jobs. Denver is actually benefiting from NAFTA, because like Boston, like Massachusetts, it has high-tech innovation-packed products, and a lot of entrepreneurs ready to build those products into, into businesses that not only meet world standards, but help open up new business opportunities because they're creating markets. They're defining the category in software or telecommunications, or biotechnology. So that's one model.
MR. GERGEN: Another model, Miami?
ROSABETH MOSS KANTER: Miami was a model of a trade center, an international crossroads like Singapore, like some parts of San Francisco. Miami is, in essence, the capital of Latin America. It's a place that is getting back American headquarters that had once been in the region, are now coming back to Miami, because it's a better place to do business in Latin America. Disney consumer products moved its Latin American headquarters from Mexico back into the United States, into Miami. And it's flourishing because of a bilingual population, a great airport, trade skills, and that's creating new sources of jobs. By the way, blue-collar jobs too. An airport has lots and lots of blue-collar jobs.
MR. GERGEN: Absolutely. If you come through Miami Airport, you see it. And the third model was Greenville, Spartanburg.
ROSABETH MOSS KANTER: Exactly. Many people say, "Where?" Greenville and Spartanburg are the site of the highest per capita diversified foreign investment in the United States. They are a world class manufacturing center. Starting 30 years ago with the textile industry, encouraging European machine makers to locate in that area and using their presence to continually upgrade skills, make quality a community priority, emphasize technical skills and customize job training, a program that many South Carolina governors encouraged. Fritz Hollings, when he was governor of South Carolina, helped start that program. It has become an international center. Michelin, the French tire maker, is now the largest manufacturing employer in South Carolina.
MR. GERGEN: And I remember as a child going to Greenville- Spartanburg, and it was an area of very blue collar and small town, and it seemed very much the old traditional South Carolina. Going back there today, it's absolutely remarkable. What struck me about your book was the degree of local leadership in the private sector coming say from Roger Millican at--who led the textile effort, and also the degree of public leadership--not only Fritz Hollings in the Senate, but strong governors they've had in educational reform. Richard Riley--he's now the Education Secretary. The country was Democrat. Carroll Campbell, a Republican, current governor. They've had very strong leadership there to help make that possible.
ROSABETH MOSS KANTER: They saw education as one of the keys to being a world class manufacturing center, and they were also foreign friendly, open to international investment. And the foreign presence in this part of South Carolina, which is now, of course, throughout the South, that whole corridor from Atlanta to Charlotte, I-85, sometimes called the Autobahn, so many German companies there, well, like Ohio, which has also attracted a lot of new foreign investment, bringing jobs to American workers, they understood that international companies could raise the horizons of local people, it could make them think that the world was open to them. It could add cultural benefits, bring in new technology, and make sure that local manufacturing met world standards.
MR. GERGEN: All right. Well, there is one danger, it strikes me, that perhaps didn't get enough attention in your book and that is the degree to which companies begin thinking globally. They sometimes forget their local commitments and local roots. You did cite, for example, in Dallas, the difficulty now of raising money for civic projects from corporations, because so often the decisions about charitable contributions or local investments are made in Tokyo or Hartford or Kalamazoo, and recently, the "New York Times" had a big piece about a great angst in the city of Rochester because Kodak under strong leadership now, strong international, global leadership, is stepping back or is thinking of stepping back from some of its local commitment. So there is some concern on the part of these communities.
ROSABETH MOSS KANTER: Absolutely, because, in fact, one of the findings in my book is that companies that have their headquarters in a particular city give much more to that city than companies whose headquarters are elsewhere. It means that cities also need to change their strategies, because they often have fewer headquarters. The CEO's, even if they're still living in the city, are on airplanes, traveling all over the world. Their commitments are weaker. It's why I argue that small and mid-sized businesses ought to be the focus for community involvement and of economic development policy. You can't count on the global giants; they are preoccupied with their affairs elsewhere.
MR. GERGEN: But you can encourage them. And you pointed out the city of Cleveland, for example, which has done very well, the corporate community there, even though it's very global and is very competitive internationally, has come together and has brought a real change in Cleveland, a real improvement in the city life.
ROSABETH MOSS KANTER: Cleveland, tomorrow, a network coalition of originally about three dozen CEO's, now it's about five dozen CEO's, has made an enormous difference. What they managed to do was work on what I call their infrastructure for collaboration, which is sort of a mouthful. But instead of just the physical infrastructure of roads and highways and bridges, they also worked on collaboration, a social infrastructure that could bring the business community together with a shared agenda. And any city can do that. It has to unite cities in suburbs. We have to think regionally, because those political boundaries only lead to turf wars and in-fighting, and that's part of what Cleveland did.
MR. GERGEN: Let me ask you the question that's on the mind of a great many Americans tonight, and that is corporations are doing very well in this new global environment, and people at the top of these corporations, people not in the white collar jobs, but as you called them, the gold collar jobs, are doing very well, but for the average American worker, many, many American workers have not shared in this bounty. Productivity has been increasing three times as fast in the 90's as has compensation. It was very striking to me, for example, there was a piece in the "Wall Street Journal" recently about big corporations now. The Standard & Poor's 500 Corporations, largest corporations, they have experienced increases in their net income each year over the last three years of 20 percent plus each year. So their profits are high. The question in the Journal piece was what are they going to do with the profits, and their two options that they were considering were either to invest more in the company, buy down their debt, or invest more overseas, or to please their stockholders perhaps by buying back stocks. Those are the two options. Strikingly, there was no third option that was sharing those gains with the workers.
ROSABETH MOSS KANTER: Well, I think that's outrageous. And, in fact, I think big business had better watch what it's doing for its work force if it wants to continue to have support in the United States. I think we are in danger of a populous backlash. I think it will be against big institutions of all kind, government and big business. And there are many people who are not voting right now because they think big government and big business were all in the same bag, and they're against the worker. I think it's a tremendous danger. I think companies do have to think about sharing their gains with the work force. I think they have to think about creating more economic security for people. Some big companies are starting to do that by even encouraging networks of, of their suppliers to help them with job displacement, i.e., if they do have to close a division, they have a bigger network, and they can help people get another job. But it's a major problem in America. That's again why small and mid-sized businesses ought to be the focus of many communities' economic development effort, because they are creating new jobs.
MR. GERGEN: And a CEO will sit down and tell you, Rosabeth, if we're going to compete internationally, we have to have capital from our stockholders, we have to make 'em happy, and they're getting used to these big gains they're seeing in the Dow Jones this year. If we're going to compete internationally, we have to invest overseas, so, you know, we can't afford to give it to our workers. How--what would you tell them?
ROSABETH MOSS KANTER: I would tell them that some of the best and most progressive flourishing American companies are companies that think about economic security for their work force, like Hewlett- Packard, which has now risen to the top close to IBM as one of the world's largest computer companies, and Hewlett-Packard still offers displaced workers another job in the company, pays very high wages, and counts on people's skill, not on cheap wages. That's-- cheap labor is not going to be the way we compete in the United States. It's going to be brain power. And I also tell CEO's that unless--it's the only Henry Ford strategy--that unless workers are paid a decent wage, they're not going to be able to afford the products the company makes.
MR. GERGEN: Well, perhaps we can do it all. I hope so. But thank you very much for being here. FINALLY - APPRECIATION
MR. LEHRER: Finally tonight, some words about Dr. Hamilton Holmes, who died last week at his home in Atlanta, at the age of 54. His funeral was yesterday in Atlanta. The words about him will be those of our own Charlayne Hunter-Gault. In 1961, she and Hamilton Holmes made history together as the first blacks to attend the University of Georgia. Charlayne, were the two of you conscious of the fact, hey, we're making history?
MS. HUNTER-GAULT: I think we were and we weren't. Hamilton may have been more conscious than me, because I wanted to be a journalist, so I was busy watching the journalists cover the story. So I was kind of removed from it. But he was always deep into it, because he was a real deep thinker. He was quiet. He didn't talk a lot. But he was a deep thinker. And I think that because of his own family's history of challenging segregation in the golf courses and things like that, I think he might have had a sense of the history of it. Of course, none of us had the sense that this would be the entry--Georgia's entry into the Civil Rights Revolution.
MR. LEHRER: You all were both in the same school, high school, black high school.
MS. HUNTER-GAULT: We went to high school together. He was the captain of the football team, and I was the queen. And he presented me the football pigskin when we won the homecoming game, so we were real close.
MR. LEHRER: Did you volunteer to do this thing at the University of Georgia?
MS. HUNTER-GAULT: In a way we did, in a way we didn't. I mean, the black citizens of Atlanta thought it was time to follow the Brown decision and desegregate. But they picked the local college in Atlanta, and when Hamp and I went down and looked--
MR. LEHRER: That's what you called him, "Hamp," right?
MS. HUNTER-GAULT: Hamp, yeah. We went down and looked and said, it's not good enough. And that was amazing, because here was a white school and white was supposed to be right. But Hamp wanted to be a doctor. He knew as a senior in high school what it took to be a good doctor. And he wanted to go to Morehouse College, the all-black school, but because of the limited resources there, they had the best education, and Hamp always said he couldn't get a better education anywhere than Morehouse, but the University of Georgia, which was supported by our parents' taxes ironically had the best facilities, lab facilities, and you know, a doctor needs labs, and that's why he wanted to go. So they chose us to go there but Hamp was the one who when we walked out of there said, "This won't do; I want to go there." And he pointed North. And the adults almost died because they had no security there, no networks of support. But they said, if that's what you want to do, we'll support you, so we chose Georgia.
MR. LEHRER: He was--I take it, he was a guy when he decided he was going to do something, he was going to do it too, right?
MS. HUNTER-GAULT: That's right. He was the quarterback of the football team, and he was an excellent athlete, and, and his life was like quarterbacking. I mean, he made a decision. He made a call, and then he just took the ball and ran with it.
MR. LEHRER: And he went on to become an orthopedic surgeon.
MS. HUNTER-GAULT: Well, first of all, he was a gifted student. He was the scholar athlete. And when he graduated from Georgia even under all the pressure that we were under, he graduated Phi Beta Kappa, and then went on to become the first black student at Emery Medical School, where he had--
MR. LEHRER: Which is also in Atlanta?
MS. HUNTER-GAULT: Yes. But he had a lot less trouble there.
MR. LEHRER: Yeah. Was he--did he stay involved in politics or public issues, or did he just--was he just a doctor?
MS. HUNTER-GAULT: Yeah. He was singularly dedicated to being the best he could be of anything he set out to do and medicine was what he chose to be and a family man who produced two fine children, and a good, a good husband and a good father. But he wasn't really political, maybe political within the medical establishment, and things like that, but not in politics, per se.
MR. LEHRER: Yeah. Did--one of his children also went to the University of Georgia, right?
MS. HUNTER-GAULT: "Chip" Hamilton Holmes, Jr., went to Georgia, you know, fifteen, twenty years after we did, and he was concerned about not following in his father's footsteps in a way, but I think he maintained his own identity. And let me just say, you asked if he was political. Hamilton Holmes in another era would have been called a race man, because I said he--
MR. LEHRER: Race man?
MS. HUNTER-GAULT: Yeah. He wasn't political in the sense that he didn't run for office or anything, but he was--he was very conscious of the image of black men, especially in America and especially in the South, i.e., that you know segregation and Jim Crowe and said that he was second class, inferior mentally as well as he was a citizen in society, and he was determined to prove that black men were as good as any men, and that they were not inferior, and he was so determined that there were many times, especially at Georgia, where he became superior as the president, Charles Knapp, of the university said, "He knocked the curve off the curve," because he was always setting the curve at 100, whereas before he got there, the curve might have been set at sixty or seventy, and that would have been the "A." Hamilton came, and they hated him on two levels, because he was black and--
MR. LEHRER: He was smarter than they were.
MS. HUNTER-GAULT: And he was smarter than everybody else!
MR. LEHRER: Yeah. Fifty-four. He had a heart problem, is that right?
MS. HUNTER-GAULT: He had a heart problem. He was a little heavy, and all of us used to tell him about that. But, again, I think it was his single-mindedness, you know. He was so single-minded about saving other souls. I mean, Marvin Arrington, who's the president of the city council, was a classmate of ours, told a story about being sick and going to Hamp with his knee and Hamp told him, he said, you know, if you lose a couple of pounds, your knew wouldn't hurt you so bad.
MR. LEHRER: Oh, thanks, huh.
MS. HUNTER-GAULT: And he said, well, you know, you should talk, you're so heavy, and Hamp said, yeah, but I'm not sick.
MR. LEHRER: Oh, great. Okay. Charlayne, thank you very much. RECAP
MR. LEHRER: Again, the major stories of this Wednesday, the leaders of Bosnia, Croatia, and Serbia met in Dayton, Ohio, for the beginning of Bosnian peace talks. A news block-out was imposed after the opening ceremony. Congressional leaders told the President he had a lot of convincing to do before they would approve sending U.S. troops to Bosnia. They discussed their sharp differences on the budget and the need to extend the debt ceiling. And the House passed legislation to ban a late-term abortion procedure. We'll see you tomorrow night with the third of our troops to Bosnia soundings from California, among other things. I'm Jim Lehrer. Thank you and good night.
- The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer
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- NewsHour Productions
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- NewsHour Productions (Washington, District of Columbia)
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- Episode Description
- This episode's headline: Peace Talks; Troops to Bosnia; History Lesson; World Class; Appreciation. ANCHOR: JAMES LEHRER; GUESTS: TONY LAM, Vietnamese Immigrant; HENRY SLUCKI, Holocaust Survivor; CONNIE KANG, Korean Immigrant; JAIME FLORES, Salvadoran Immigrant; ZAREH SINANYAN, Armenian Immigrant; FAISAL ROBLE, Somalian Immigrant; ROSABETH MOSS KANTER, Author, World Class CORRESPONDENTS: KWAME HOLMAN; JEFFREY KAYE; ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH; MARGARET WARNER; CHARLAYNE HUNTER-GAULT; DAVID GERGEN
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- This item is part of the Korean Americans section of the AAPI special collection.
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- To view the segment on immigrant reactions to sending troops to Bosnia, visit https://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-507-s17sn02080?start=781.74&end=1992.95 or jump to 00:12:58.
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Identifier: 5388 (Show Code)
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- Chicago: “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer,” 1995-11-01, NewsHour Productions, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed September 30, 2023, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-507-s17sn02080.
- MLA: “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.” 1995-11-01. NewsHour Productions, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. September 30, 2023. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-507-s17sn02080>.
- APA: The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. Boston, MA: NewsHour Productions, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-507-s17sn02080