Political conversation in the media is full of chatter about how to cut spending and debt, but it reminds us of the comment attributed to Mark Twain: "Everybody talks about the weather but nobody does anything about it." There's a lot of talk about how to cut back on entitlements, but why doesn't somebody suggest cutting the extravagant federal dollars spent on education, which is not even an entitlement?
The billions spent on education have not achieved any of their designated goals, which were to raise the test scores and to close the gap between kids from upper-income and lower-income families. The handouts, however, produced a lot of cheating by teachers and administrators trying to hide their failure to achieve designated goals.
We hear about increasing the role of the states in other areas such as Medicaid. But the most important area where the states should have primary responsibility is education.
The most powerful union of government employees is the National Education Association, which held this year's annual national convention, as usual, over the Fourth of July weekend, attracting 9,000 delegates. To no one's surprise, it resembled a re-election campaign rally for Barack Obama, with the pressure on delegates to identify themselves as EFO, Educators for Obama.
Many delegates wore Obama campaign buttons and T-shirts and sported banners with messages such as "You are our knight in shining armor." The official NEA newspaper, called RA Today and published every day during the week-long convention, featured a very political full-page endorsement of Obama headlined "Do your part and pledge to be an educator for Obama today!"
In preparation for the convention, NEA leaders had been urging their members to hold house parties to teach their friends why Obama deserves their votes. House parties were one of the successful tactics Obama used to win his election in 2008.
The NEA convention passed its usual scores of anti-parent, anti-school-choice, pro-feminist, pro-homosexual resolutions that morph into the NEA's Legislative Program. This authorizes the highly paid NEA staff to lobby Congress, state legislatures, education departments and school boards to adopt NEA policies.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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