ecm editorial board

Exuding a candidate’s optimism, President Barack Obama predicted last year that partisan fever in the Republican Party would break if he were re-elected. Now, only weeks removed from a government shutdown followed by perilous congressional flirtation with debt default, it’s reasonable to wonder whether fevered brinkmanship is the only way to write a budget in Washington.

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Football season is here. High school teams are doing two-a-day practices. Monday morning quarterbacks are replaying, analyzing and criticizing Vikings games. Fans are making sure they have the latest fashions in purple and white, or maroon and gold. Fantasy football players are studying every statistic.

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Any discussion of public education — its needs, its strengths and weaknesses ‑ generates a vast array of ideas, blame, expenses and controversy. It is almost surprising to find one premise that is universally agreed upon by administrators, politicians of all persuasions and teachers.

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