You know it’s an election year when the Democratic Speaker of the House recalls her comrades from summer break to Washington for an emergency vote to bail out the nation’s schools. This action might be wrapped in the garb of “economic stimulus” but its true intention is to stimulate the party’s base—the teachers’ unions—whose enthusiasm is sorely needed if catastrophic losses are to be avoided in November. Gadfly understands that the $10 billion edujobs fund—to be offset, so they claim, by future cuts in food stamps!—will have the beneficial effect of keeping some very good—and young—teachers from getting pink slips. Hooray for that. But it will also further kick down the road the inevitable belt-tightening that awaits our bloated education system—starting with the removal of America’s ineffective teachers, a step that Eric Hanushek says will actually improve student achievement. For almost two years, President Obama has been calling for an “Era of Responsibility.” This is more evidence that such an epoch has not yet arrived.
“US Senate clears way for 26 billion dollar spending bill,” Associated Press, August 4, 2010