As Obama prepared to deliver his address to Congress on Tuesday, the Republican
House Minority Leader John Boehner, Fox News' Bret Baier and Charles Krauthammer
all gushed that history was being made as the first African-American president
appeared before Congress.
Even Gov. Bobby Jindal, whom I suppose I should note was the first Indian-American
to give the Republican response to a president's speech, began with an encomium to
the first black president. (Wasn't Bobby great in "Slumdog Millionaire"?)
Are we going to have to hear about this for the next four years? Obama is becoming
the Cal Ripken Jr. of presidents, making history every time he suits up for a game.
Recently, Obama also became the first African-American president to order a ham
sandwich late at night from the White House kitchen! That's going to get old pretty
But as long as the nation is obsessed with historic milestones, is no one going to
remark on what a great country it is where a mentally retarded woman can become
speaker of the house?
Obama spent more than twice as much time in his historic speech genuflecting to the
teachers' unions than talking about terrorism, Iraq or Afghanistan. So it was
historic only in the sense that Obama is the first African-American president, but
was the same old Democratic claptrap in every other respect.
After claiming that the disastrous stimulus bill would create or save 3.5 million
jobs "more than 90 percent" in the private sector Obama then enumerated a
long list of exclusively government jobs that would be "saved."
He was suspiciously verbose about saving the jobs of public schoolteachers. Because
nothing says "economic stimulus" better than saving the jobs of lethargic
incompetents who kick off at 2 p.m. every day and get summers off. Actually, that's
not fair: Some teachers spend long hours after school having sex with their
As with the Clintons, Obama so earnestly believes in public school education that
he sends his girls to ... an expensive private school. He demands that taxpayers
support the very public schoolteachers he won't trust with his own children.
It is one thing to tell voters that school choice is wrong, because, you know, the
public schools won't get better unless Americans sacrifice their children to the
teachers' union's maw. But it is quite another for Democrats to feed their own kids
to the union incinerator.
Consequently, no Democrat since Jimmy Carter has been stupid enough to send his own
children to a public school.
And yet the stimulus bill expressly prohibits money earmarked for "education" to be
spent on financial aid at private or parochial schools. Private schools might use
it for some nefarious purpose like actually teaching their students, rather than
indoctrinating them in anti-American propaganda.
The stimulus bill includes about $100 billion to education. By "education,"
Democrats don't mean anything a normal person would think of as education, such as
learning how to talk good. "Education" means creating lots of useless bureaucratic
jobs, mostly in Washington, having nothing to do with teaching.
Apparently, nothing irritates public schoolteachers more than being asked to teach.
While 80 percent of the employees of private schools are teachers, only half the
employees of public schools are. The rest are "coordinating," "facilitating" or
"empowering" something or other.
The Department of Education alone provides more than 4,000 jobs that haven't the
faintest connection with teaching. And now the stimulus bill will double the
Education Department's funding. (For those of you who went to a public school, that
means it will become twice as big.)
We've come a long way from Ronald Reagan promising to eliminate the Education
Department, which itself was a Jimmy Carter sop to the teachers' unions.
Federal meddling in education has been an abject failure, so the Democrats' plan is
to keep doing more of the same. If only there were some aphorism about people who
fail to learn from history oh, well!
It can't be easy to reduce the educational achievement in America year after year,
but the education establishment has done it! Yes they can!
Thanks to the hard work of thousands of government workers at the Department of
Education and well-paid teachers' union employees, American schoolchildren perform
worse on education tests for every year they spend in a public school.
It turns out that being in U.S. public schools has the same effect on people as
hanging around Paris Hilton does.
In fourth grade, the earliest grade for which international comparisons are
available, American students outperform most other countries in reading, math and
science. Fourth-graders score in the 92nd percentile in science, the 58th
percentile in math and the 70th percentile in reading, where they beat 26 of 35
countries, including Germany, France and Italy.
But by the eighth grade, American students are only midrange in international
comparisons. (On the plus side, by the eighth grade they're noticeably fatter.)
By the 12th grade after receiving the full benefits of an American education
Americans are near the bottom. Let X represent the number of years spent in U.S.
public schools, and Y represent average test scores in math and reading oh,
With an additional eight years of a public school education under their belts,
Americans fall from the 92nd percentile in science to the 29th percentile. While
American fourth-graders are bested only by South Korea and Japan in science, by
12th grade, the only countries the American students can beat are Lithuania, Cyprus
and South Africa.
Which suggests that if public education were extended all the way through college,
by the time a student gets to graduate school he might very well be qualified to be
... speaker of the house!