The Education Department's Paid Apple Polishers

An "angry op-ed" in the Dallas Morning News claimed the city's school system was "limiting the future and opportunities for our children" by not enacting policies mandated under the federal No Child Left Behind law more quickly. The author, Marcela Garcini, described herself as a "ninja parent," neglecting to disclose that the nonprofit organization she heads had "received two unsolicited grants, totaling $900,000, from the U.S. Education Department." USA Today reports, "Federal investigators probing the department's public relations contracts ... say the department has given nearly $4.7 million to groups including Garcini's to promote administration education priorities since 2002, but that in 10 of 11 cases examined, the groups didn't disclose - in print, on radio or in other media, such as brochures or handbooks - that taxpayer funds were used." Such disclosure is mandated by law, but the department's Inspector General says these lapses do not constitute "covert propaganda."