October 2008 Archives

One blogger's reaction to this week's NCLB rules is the latest sign that Democrats are divided over the future of federal education policy. Robert Blomeyer has begun a campaign against the regulations. On my.barackobama.com, he writes: This is an obvious continuation of the same old "top down" essentialist education agenda that the Bush administration has pushed over almost eight years. Going any further with these "rule changes," which are nothing more than an "interpretation" of what this Secretary and her politically appointed staff interpret the legislation to mean, is a waste of time and $$ that the education community ...


In announcing new NCLB rules yesterday, Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings said they “will help us build on the progress of No Child Left Behind and set the table until Congress can act on this legislation.” Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., more or less agreed with her. The rules are a “significant step forward in helping schools, parents, and teachers bring new solutions to the challenges of helping every child get ahead in school,” the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, said in a statement. “The new regulations will allow schools to innovate while Congress works ...


The NCLB rules are up on the Federal Register's site. If you want to print them, make sure your printer tray is full. The document is 441 pages long. Here's the department's summary from the introduction: The most far-reaching change in these regulations is in how states, LEAs, and schools are held accountable for graduating students from high school. We believe that establishing a uniform and more accurate measure of calculating graduation rate that is comparable across states is a critical and essential step forward in improving high school accountability. New requirements governing the provision of SES and public school ...


Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings will announce the new NCLB rules at noon tomorrow in Columbia, S.C. You won't have to be there to hear what she has to say. According to this announcement from the Department of Education, you can watch via the Web at this page from South Carolina ETV. Want more? You'll be able to log on for an interactive Webcast at this page on Thursday at 1 p.m. Now all we need is for the department to create a forum on Second Life....


In the word cloud I linked to yesterday, I noted that NCLB and the issues of standards, assessment, and accountability were overlooked in Tuesday's debate between education spokeswomen for the McCain and Obama campaigns. (Here's a link to video from the debate and the panel I moderated after it.) Two panelists in the post-debate analysis explained why. "There's a lot of ambivalence about No Child Left Behind," said Joe Viteritti of Hunter College. "People seem to like standards, but they're not crazy about testing, and it's hard to separate them." The debaters mentioned many of the issues in the law, ...


The Education Department will release the final version of its NCLB regs on Tuesday, according to FritzWire, the daily e-mail blast from Fritz Edelstein: "NEW -- Tuesday, October 28, at 12:00 noon ET, U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings will deliver remarks in Columbia, South Carolina, announcing final regulations to strengthen the No Child Left Behind Act, including specific requirements that states implement a uniform graduation rate and enhance parents' leverage in accessing public school choice and supplemental educational services options for their children. Around 12:30 p.m. ET, materials (press release, fact sheet, pamphlet, etc.) and ...


One of our Web producers created a word cloud from Tuesday night's debate between Lisa Graham Keegan of the McCain campaign and Linda Darling-Hammond of Obama. To see the debate and the session I moderated after it, you can register here. Take a look at the word cloud generated with Wordle and see what jumps out: The words of the night were "teachers" and "kids." You have to look closely to find "No Child Left Behind," "standards," or "assessments." You need a magnifying class to see "accountability." The word cloud captures the fact that Keegan and Darling-Hammond had their longest ...


With the political world focused on the elections and the economy, education policy wonks are busy thinking about the future of NCLB. Tomorrow, the Century Foundation formally unveils "Improving on No Child Left Behind," a book of essays addressing the law's flaws. You can read the CliffsNotes version in Richard Kahlenberg's essay in the Oct. 15 issue of Education Week, and his extended summary on the Century Foundation Web site. In both the Education Week essay and the summary, Century's Kahlenberg cites three problems with NCLB: inadequate funding, inconsistent standards, and a lack of options for students attending low-performing schools. ...


Rep. Sam Graves, R-Mo., set off a brief firestorm this summer when he sponsored a bill to suspend NCLB's accountability rules. The NEA, NSBA, and others lined up behind the effort to attach the bill to the fiscal 2009 appropriations bill in the House. The bill stalled once civil rights groups announced they were dead set against it. Now, Graves is getting his reward. He is one of 22 Republicans that the NEA is endorsing in the Nov. 4 election (see the whole list at the Education Intelligence Agency), and the union gave him an 'A' on its report card ...


After reading my explanation about why NCLB doesn't matter—at least for now—Mike Petrilli assigns me the task deconstructing what Sarah Palin said about the law in her "October surprise" on education in Thursday's debate. (Sorry I'm late getting back to you, Mike. I took Friday off to be with my sons and go to their parent-teacher conferences.) But I don't have much to say about Palin's statement. She thinks NCLB needs to be more flexible, and "it's not doing the job though." What politician wouldn't agree? She says standards are too low. Lots of people have said that....


Why hasn't NCLB: Act II been updated lately? I've been wondering the same thing myself. The short answer is that I've been consumed reporting stories about the election. See my latest story and a NCLB-related entry at Campaign K-12. The long answer is that the news about NCLB doesn't matter right now. Sure, people are talking about it. The Fordham Institute put on an entertaining debate about the law last week. See the recaps (here and here) from Diane Ravitch and Deborah Meier, who argued against the law. The American Enterprise Institute held a seminar on testing that turned into ...


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