Why wait for the president's speech? If you want to know his theme -- and it's hardly a surprise -- just glance at the quintessential Beltway pre-spin transaction: White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer's "exclusive" preview feed to Mike Allen's "Playbook." According to Pfeiffer, President Barack Obama is going to ... champion the middle class, which, Pfeiffer points out, his boss has done consistently since he began running for the highest office in the land back in 2007. That's true. I was there. Obama always has cited improving the economic lot of the middle class as a central purpose. So has every other politician in modern times. But as Obama prepares to deliver his latest State of the Union address, the issue isn't rhetoric -- it's results. And while the words are there, the results, to be blunt, are not.
Netflix Reauthorizes No Child Left Behind? Or so quips this EdWeek headline. Real-life Congress hasn't yet reauthorized NCLB (since 2007!), but characters on the Netflix series "House of Cards" do. "[Writer Beau] Willimon noted on Twitter that he hinged the plot on education because it affects us all directly and indirectly, and because of the contention that often revolves around education reform," EdWeek writes. Read the full story for a taste of which education fights the show covers. My take: Obviously TV isn't reality, but there are a few major inaccuracies. The most glaring one in my eyes is that teachers unions can't legally hold a national strike over some federal legislation they dislike!