January 27, 2011 6:21AM

A Teaching Moment on Sputnik

President Obama shows greater nostalgia for Sputnik than MST3K fans do for “The Satellite of Love.” But his narrative of how increased federal education spending and intervention spurred advances in student learning has a problem: it’s wrong.

Achievement went DOWN after passage of the National Defense Education Act—Congress’ response to Sputnik. I laid out the evidence here.

It is embarrassing that the president’s advisors have been telling him to repeat a patently false narrative for years. What are they being paid for?