OUT-EDUCATE: President Obama invested many words in education during the 2011 State of the Union address. (White House)

OUT-EDUCATE: President Obama invested many words in education during the 2011 State of the Union address. (White House)

The 2011 State of the Union address doesn’t appear to have left many viewers enamored with President Obama’s plans for the country.

Perhaps it’s no surprise that the rumored “Sputnik moment” fell flat. After all, the “clean green” mantra lit up with squiggly bulbs just doesn’t ignite the creativity of the populace like the notion of going to the moon. Of course there was more to the president’s technological ideals than that, but he invested too many words in education to make them sound believable.

In a way Obama was playing it safe by pulling out the motherhood-and-apple-pie concept of winning the future through education for the children. Nobody (except the Grinch) would argue against something done for the children, would they?

“When a child walks into a classroom, it should be a place of high expectations and high performance. But too many schools don’t meet this test. That’s why instead of just pouring money into a system that’s not working, we launched a competition called Race to the Top.”

Ah, but Mr. President, a crucial distinction must be made here. There is a difference between education and federal spending on education. Since when has federal involvement in education helped the economy or improved learning?

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NOTE:  This is a complex and fascinating issue that cannot be summed up in one article – or even several articles. I am currently working to complete a book on this topic. Thus, I’m still researching and posting thoughts on the matter to get an idea of what others think. I’m not satisfied with this article, but hope that it will provide food for thought.