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, never mind.
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!