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The federal government is always at the ready for a bailout - even if that means increasing federal aid to cover the increasing costs of tuition to cover remedial classes to overcompensate for the fact that our schools failed to prepare our children for college in the first place.

We need “to stand up to the fact that we keep failing our kids,” Miss Rice said. When we fail our kids, our kids fail themselves and our country. When America fails to compete and lead with confidence, we’re fit to be slave to the fearful rhythms of the world rather than its leader of the 21st century.

If that happens, it won’t matter whether John McCain or Barack Obama is occupying the White House.

Deborah Simmons is editorial page editor of The Washington Times. dsimmons@washington