Napolitano co-chaired a national education committee, Renewing Our Schools, Securing Our Future, that recommended kids spend six more weeks in school each year and that summer vacation be shorter because students forget too much stuff over the long break.
Back here in Arizona, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne said that Arizona teachers will now themselves be tested to assure that they know the subjects they're teaching. The exam will include videotaping teachers in the classroom for later review, which goes to prove the theory that soon, we'll all have our own reality TV show.
Teachers who can't pass the test in six years have to quit the profession.
"We only want highly qualified teachers in our classrooms," Horne says.
Slight snag: The original budget for the project was closer to $100 million.
You might remember that one--it's the federal program that Republican lawmakers reluctantly supported while the White House withheld the slight detail that it would cost about $134 billion more than anticipated over 10 years, according to news reports.
Democrats took advantage of the visit to remind voters that the plan also prevents the government from using its considerable bulk-buying power to negotiate drug prices.
In a release, Democrats complained that U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl "cast the deciding vote against an amendment that would have allowed the federal government to negotiate for lower drug prices under Medicare."
Matt Salmon, chair of the Arizona Republican Party, sent out a dueling press release boasting that Kyl had sponsored the drug-benefit legislation that "will provide important options to seniors in Arizona and allow them to decide how best to handle their own health care."
Salmon added that "Kyl introduced the president to the adoring crowd and joined the president in the motorcade where the two leaders personally discussed the important issues facing Arizona."
In related news, our friends at KOLD Channel 13 brought us the news that a onetime Playboy bunny who was also supposed to be getting help from the state mental system was found wandering on the streets of Maricopa County, far afield of Hef's mansion.
The stories caught the attention of state Rep. Jonathan Paton, vice chair of the House Government Reform Committee, who had examined other failures of Value Options, the for-profit outfit that provides mental-health services to Maricopa County residents.
"The state and taxpayers need answers about whether this company is putting profits ahead of patient services," Paton said. "This tragic shooting serves as another reminder of why I wanted the Legislature's investigative arm to look at Value Options' dismal performance."
Despite a 61-72 season record as of press time, The Diamondbacks remained only 4 1/2 games behind the first-place San Diego Padres, who are leading the National League West despite a below-.500 winning percentage.
As of Monday, Aug. 29, 1,693 Ward 6 voters had requested early ballots in the Sept. 13 Democratic primary, which will decide who will face Republican Fred Ronstadt in November. Want yours? Order it from 884-VOTE before 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 2.