In anticipation of Obama’s addressing a joint-session of Congress on Tuesday, the Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner, Fox News’ Bret Baier and Charles Krauthammer all gushed that history was being made as the first African-American president appeared before Congress.

Even Gov. Bobby Jindal — first Indian-American to give the Republican response to a president’s speech! — began with an encomium to the first black president. (Wasn’t Bobby great in “Slumdog Millionaire”?)

Are we going to have to hear about this for the next four years? Obama is becoming the Cal Ripken Jr. of presidents, making history every time he suits up for a game. Obama: First African-American president to order a ham sandwich late at night from the White House kitchen!

This is going to get old pretty quick. (As long as the nation is obsessed with historic milestones, is no one going to remark on what a great country it is where a mentally retarded woman can become speaker of the house?)

Obama spent more than twice as much time in his historic speech genuflecting to the teachers’ unions than talking about terrorism, Iraq or Afghanistan. So Obama may be historic in the sense of being the first African-American president, but it’s the same old Democratic claptrap in every other respect.

After claiming that the disastrous stimulus bill would create or save 3.5 million jobs — “more than 90 percent” in the private sector — Obama then enumerated a long list of exclusively government jobs that would be “saved.”

He was suspiciously verbose about saving the jobs of public schoolteachers. Because nothing says “economic stimulus” better than saving the jobs of lethargic incompetents who kick off at 2 p.m. every day and get summers off. Actually, that’s not fair. Some teachers spend long hours after school having sex with their students.

As with the Clintons, Obama believes in public school education so much that he sends his girls to … private school. He demands that taxpayers support the very public schoolteachers he won’t trust with his own children.

No Democrat since Jimmy Carter has been stupid enough to send his kids to a public school. It is one thing to go around constantly praising public school teachers and treating school choice like it’s a scheme to murder puppies. It is quite another for Democrats to feed their own kids into the teachers’ union incinerator.

The stimulus bill includes about $100 billion for education, but expressly prohibits those funds from being spent on financial aid at private or parochial schools. Private schools might use it for some nefarious purpose like actually teaching their students.

By “education,” Democrats don’t mean anything a normal person would think of as education. “Education” involves creating lots of useless bureaucratic jobs, mostly in Washington, having nothing whatsoever to do with teaching children.

Apparently, nothing irritates public schoolteachers more than being asked to teach. While 80 percent of the employees of private schools are teachers, only half the employees of public schools are. Half! The rest are “coordinating,” “facilitating” or “empowering” something or other.

The Department of Education alone is responsible for more than 4,000 jobs that haven’t the faintest connection with teaching. And now the stimulus bill will double the Education Department’s funding. (For those of you who went to a public school, that means it will become twice as big.)

We’ve come a long way from Ronald Reagan promising to eliminate the Education Department, a sop to the teachers’ unions created by Jimmy Carter.

Federal meddling in education has been an abject failure, so the Democrats’ plan is to keep doing more of the same. Thanks to the hard work of thousands of government workers at the Department of Education and well-paid teachers’ union employees, schoolchildren perform worse on education tests for every year they spend in an American public school. Being in public schools seems to have the same effect on people as sniffing glue.

In fourth grade, the earliest grade for which international comparisons are available, American students outperform most other countries in reading, math and science. Fourth-graders score in the 92nd percentile in science, the 58th percentile in math and the 70th percentile in reading, where they beat 26 of 35 countries, including Germany, France and Italy.

By the eighth grade, American students are only midrange in international comparisons. (On the plus side, they’re noticeably fatter.)

By the 12th grade — after receiving the full benefits of an American education — Americans are at the bottom. Let X represent the number of years spent in U.S. public schools, and Y represent average test scores in math and reading — oh, never mind.

Yes, with an additional eight years of a public school education under their belts, American children fall from the 92nd percentile in science to the 29th percentile. While American fourth-graders are bested only by South Korea and Japan in science, by 12th grade, the only countries the Americans can beat are Lithuania, Cyprus and South Africa.

It’s almost impressive how the education establishment has managed to reduce educational achievement year after year. Yes they can!

If we extended public education by a few more years, American students would be qualified for only one job … the “first female Speaker of the House”!

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