President-elect Barack Obama and his aides are signaling that education might take a back seat to other issues in the first few months of his administration. He ranked it fifth among his priorities, and if it is being downplayed, that's a mistake, writes New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof. "We can't meaningfully address poverty or grow the economy as long as urban schools are failing. Mr. Obama talks boldly about starting new high-tech green industries, but where will the workers come from unless students reliably learn science and math?" Kristof writes. "The United States is the only country in the


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