Default Lines for eSchool News, print edition, June 2009—"I'm so poor I can't even pay attention," said White Sox outfielder Ron Kittle a few years back.

Our own hard times give added poignancy to his lament. In fact, recent declarations around Washington have me wondering who else is suffering from Kittle's brand of attention-deficit disorder.

Johnny-come-lately fiscal conservatives, on the one hand, are lambasting President Barack Obama for allegedly swallowing federal provisions like an interloper at a wedding party. He's squandering our children's birthright, they complain.

Meanwhile, four leading ed-tech organizations have issued just the opposite objection. The president doesn't want to spend...

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