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But not once did his prepared text explain that our schoolchildren — our future leaders — are struggling to get to the top.

In fact, Mr. Duncan’s remarks were so fixed on Washington infighting and what he and the Obama administration are up against, that he never even used the word “global.”

If a globally competitive perspective is lost on Mr. Duncan and President Obama, God help us.

The ongoing discussions on education will soon come to the fore once the government shutdown ends and lawmakers’ and policymakers’ full time and attention turns to the federal budget — where trimming federal largesse should rule the table talk.

States and localities don’t need bureaucrats inside the “Beltway Bubble” telling them how to run their public education offerings any more than the manly men on the Hill need to be told that it’s OK to wear pink and coral.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (a manly man on the phalanx for education reform) has already vowed to teach Mr. Duncan and President Obama a thing or two about how to fight a good fight.

And a good schoolyard fight happens immediately after the bell rings.

The shutdown will end sooner than you think.

Deborah Simmons can be reached at dsimmon@washingtontimes.com.