A Weekly Interview Resource from the Independent Women’s Forum
December 3, 2008

Contact: Carol Eberly 202-349-5882 or [email protected]

In this issue:

  • Do So-Called Liberals Really Believe in Free Speech?

  • What Glass Ceiling? Debunking the Sexism Argument

  • Blue Ribbon or Black and Blue?
    How the No-Child Left Behind Blue-Ribbon Award Helps Conceal Accountability Avoidance

Do So-Called Liberals Really Believe in Free Speech?
Expert: Carrie Lukas, Vice President for Policy and Economics           

Among the most sacred rights guaranteed by our Constitution is that “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech.”  Yet some Democrats seem to want to ignore the First Amendment, and get government in the businesses of micromanaging media content, for the express purpose of squelching political speech.  Democrat attempts to “hush Rush” by reinstituting the Fairness Doctrine are contrary to the founding principles of the United States and should be opposed by Democrats and Republicans alike.


What Glass Ceiling? Debunking the Sexism Argument
Expert: Sabrina Schaeffer, Visiting Fellow with the Independent Women’s Forum

On November 20th, Marie Cocco asserted in her article, entitled “The Glass Ceiling Holds Strong,” that the 2008 presidential election confirms the political glass ceiling remains firmly in place. Cocco even states that since we failed to elect a woman to the presidency – or, to the vice presidency – that the United States is on par with third world nations where oppression of women is the norm. Both Sen. Clinton and Gov. Palin were subjected to harsh and at times grossly inappropriate criticism by the media and rival campaigns. Yet, Cocco’s willingness to exaggerate these attacks and all but dismiss the truly outstanding accomplishments of American women in politics, does a much greater disservice to women than any of the slights we saw this political season. It’s a shame that instead of seriously addressing the question of why we see fewer women than men in politics, Cocco unthinkingly advances the unfortunate image of women as victims.


Blue Ribbon or Black and Blue?
Vicky Murray, Visiting Fellow with the Independent Women’s Forum     

Earlier this year, more than 300 U.S. schools were honored in Washington, D.C., as No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Blue Ribbon Schools. These schools are among “America’s most successful schools,” according to the U.S. Department of Education. But a closer look at grade-level achievement among last year’s batch of award-winners may cause some parents to rethink the Blue-Ribbon bumper sticker on the back of their family car.  According to Vicky Murray, in a report released for IWF titled Peeking Behind the Blue Ribbon, there is mounting evidence that states are watering-down academic standards and reducing the number of questions students must answer correctly on state assessments, among other shenanigans, to inflate the number of students deemed “proficient.” Instead of piling on additional, expensive mandates, the federal government should require greater transparency in exchange for funding. This would preserve the delicate balance between flexibility for states and accurate information for parents.

To interview IWF scholars please contact Carol Eberly at 202-349-5882 or [email protected].


The Independent Women’s Forum is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Founded in 1992, IWF’s mission is to rebuild civil society by advancing economic liberty, personal responsibility, and political freedom. IWF fosters greater respect for limited government, equality under the law, property rights, free markets, strong families, and a powerful and effective national defense and foreign policy. IWF is home to the next wave of the nation’s most influential scholars-women who are committed to promoting and defending economic opportunity and political freedom.