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Education Week Roundup, Aug. 29

I'll be posting more on the House draft bill later, but I first I want to call your attention to the current issue of Education Week. As usual, it's full of NCLB news and commentary.

The 39th Annual Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup poll on attitudes toward public schools is out today and it focuses primarily on NCLB. The headline Poll Finds Rise in Unfavorable Views of NCLB tells the story in a nutshell. Andrew Trotter's story lays out the details, documenting how public support for the law has declined gradually since 2003. NCLB critics say the public attitudes mirror their own complaints about the law. (See here and here.)

On the Reading First beat, Kathleen Kennedy Manzo delivers two reports. Federal Reading Review Overlooks Popular Text explains that the What Works Clearinghouse found that the best-selling reading programs for the early grades did not have the kinds of rigorous studies required to be included in the review.

In Reading Results Hard to Translate, Panel Concludes, Manzo says that researchers on a Reading First advisory panel can't judge the effectiveness of the program based on existing state data. (That's the same data that Bush administration officials put forward earlier this year as proof of the program's effectiveness.)

In Suit Contests 'Loophole' for Alternate Paths, Vaishali Honowar lays out the argument on the teacher quality lawsuit I wrote about here. She includes a "no comment" from a Department of Education spokeswoman.

In the Commentary section, Bruce Fuller's The Democrats' 'No Child' Divide' recounts Democrats' summer of discontent over NCLB. He quotes liberally from leading presidential candidates. He adds, though, that the 42 rookie Democrats also hold the key to reauthorization because they represent the moderate districts Democrats must retain to keep their House majority.

It'll be interesting to hear what those first-termers have to say about yesterday's news.

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