Yesterday's Washington Post included a special advertising section on education issues sponsored by the National Education Association. (Memo to Mike Antonucci: Can you find out how much that cost?) The editorial content included a Reg Weaver column covering the bottom half of the front page and short essays by a who's who of Education Week sources (Linda Darling-Hammond and George Wood on the "Democracy at Risk" report; Jacob E. Adams Jr. and Kati Haycock on school finance; Richard Ingersoll on teacher quality). The one that caught my eye was written by Richard W. Riley, the secretary of education for all ...


The possibility that Congress would suspend NCLB's accountability rules brought supporters of the law out of the woodwork. Over at Swift & Changable, Charlie Barone says that civil rights' community's nearly unanimous opposition to the suspension was unprecedented in the history of NCLB. Today, the Public Education Network released a poll that sheds some light on the reason why. Although the poll focuses on where education stands in the current political debate, the response to one of its questions shows that the minority community likes NCLB. Forty-one percent of blacks and 39 percent of Hispanics believe that NCLB has helped improve ...


Reading First wouldn't get any money from the Senate, Alyson Klein reports in from the Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee markup. The program also has a '0' in its column in the bill awaiting action in House Appropriations Committee on Thursday. Just two years ago, Reading First received $1 billion. Now, with no money in either chamber's bill, the program's future looks grim. Alyson is hard at work on a story that will appear on edweek.org later today....


"Has student achievement increased since 2002," the Center on Education Policy asks in its latest report. The short answer is: Yes. On state tests, the increases are greater than on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. The achievement gap between whites and minorities narrowed more often than not across the states, the report says. If you want to see how your state shapes up, CEP has snapshots of all the states. But does that mean NCLB is the reason for the increase? Not necessarily. Even though the report bills itself as "the most comprehensive, intensive, and carefully constructed study" of ...


Has Reading First helped elementary students improve their reading comprehension? Not really, says the Institute of Education Sciences. Yes, says the secretary of education, who is one of the program's biggest cheerleaders. Margaret Spellings today released an analysis of Reading First data that says 38 states report reading comprehension gains among 1st graders whose schools received money from the program. A similar percentage of states report increases in comprehension in grades 2 and 3, as well as among English language learners and students with disabilities. These numbers are at odds with the report released last month by the department's research ...


Alyson Klein just called in from this morning's subcommittee markup of the fiscal 2009 appropriations bill for the education, labor, and health and human service departments. Here's what she reports: It doesn't sound as if The plan to suspend NCLB accountability is included in the appropriations bill. Sources tell me that Rep. Dave Obey, D-Wis., chairman of the Appropriations Committee, nixed the bill after Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., voiced his objections to it. You can read what the chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee told Alyson in her post from yesterday. The debate over the idea of suspending ...


From contributing blogger Alyson Klein: So, if you needed any more proof that reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act is absolutely, definitely not happening this year, take a look at the version of an environmental education bill that the House Education and Labor Committee approved today, with overwhelming bipartisan support. The bill, dubbed the No Child Left Inside Act by its sponsor, Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Md., originally would have made $100 million in grants available to schools to bolster environmental education and was designed to be part of the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind. But the measure ...


A couple of small news items from today .... 1.) A federal judge in San Francisco yesterday ruled that NCLB gives the U.S. secretary of education latitude to declare teachers who are in training for an alternative certification as highly qualified. The decision rejects a group's lawsuit trying to nullify California's definition of a highly qualified teacher. In response, Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings' press secretary sent me a statement. "The decision concluded that our regulation is consistent with the No Child Left Behind Act, and allows districts throughout the nation—particularly those in high-need areas—to meet the demand...


A new study documents the steady improvement of low-achieving students (who are disproportionately African-American, Hispanic, or other minorities) in the NCLB era and the small gains made by high achievers (who are disproportionately white or Asian-American). The achievement gap between them is narrowing. "The general pattern is one of all boats rising; but the boats at the 10th percentile rose more than those at the 90th percentile," Tom Loveless of the Brookings Institution writes in the new report from the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation. In a survey of 900 teachers, 24 percent said that attention and resources dedicated to gifted ...


On Friday, David Brooks asked which one of last week's statements on education policy Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., would endorse. Would it be the one that called for a "broader, bolder approach" or the Education Equality Project's call to ramp up school accountability? I wondered the same thing. I exchanged e-mails with Danielle Gray, the deputy policy director of the Obama campaign (thanks to Alyson Klein for the introduction). Here's what I found out (other than Gray reads Campaign K-12): Sen. Obama likes both statements. (You can read Gray's comments and the rest of my reporting on both statements in ...


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