November 2008 Archives

In my quest to find out where the players in the next presidential administration stand on NCLB, I watched a Sept. 24 debate at the Fordham Institute. (See embedded video below.) In it, Jon Schnur, a key adviser to President-elect Obama, teamed with former Colorado Gov. Roy Romer to argue for a stronger federal role in education policy. In general, Schnur said he believes the federal government should play a role in setting "national standards and assessments, not set by the federal government, but supported by the federal government. We have a real problem right now with bad assessments that ...


Yesterday, I wondered how major players in NCLB's future would answer the following question: "What will the next version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act look like?" Today, I give you two links that outline the ideas of Linda Darling-Hammond—the Stanford University professor whom President-elect Barack Obama has tapped to lead the review of federal education policy. Darling-Hammond also has been mentioned as a potential education secretary and appears to be the choice one member of a NEA affiliate's staff*, according to Chad Aldeman. So, what does Darling-Hammond think about NCLB? Although she's been circumspect in recent public...


Over at New Talk, the usual suspects are discussing the question: Should we scrap No Child Left Behind? Although the debate is interesting, you won't be surprised by the answers. Neal McCluskey of the Cato Institute and Richard Rothstein of the Economic Policy Institute say yes. Former Bush adviser Sandy Kress, eduwonk Andy Rotherham, Stanford's Eric Hanushek, and several others say no. All of them want changes, but they would keep much of its core principles intact. Isn't NewTalk asking the wrong question of the wrong people? The real question is: What will the next version of the Elementary and ...


David Brooks of The New York Times is dreaming of an Obama administration that defies traditional Democratic policies. He'd like to see "liberal Republicans" like Diane Ravitch, McCain economic adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin, and former Missouri Sen. Jim Talent working for the new president. These people will be take stances that are neither conservative nor liberal. Among other things, "they’ll insist on merit pay and preserving No Child Left Behind’s accountability standards, no matter what the teachers’ unions say." Like a lot of dreams, this one doesn't make sense. Diane Ravitch is about as anti-NCLB as commenter John Thompson (see...


Lots of people want answers to specific questions about the future of NCLB during today's chat on what Tuesday's election will mean for NCLB and other education issues. I explained that the president-elect's stances on the law are vague. I could predict some things: the accountability system will morph into some sort of growth model, and that the next version of the law still will track students by various subgroups. But I have no sense of exactly what those changes will look like. I don't think anybody does. As I responded to questions, I was listening to the Gadfly Show, ...


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