Last month, I channeled Andy Warhol and predicted that in the future, everyone would be blogging. The folks at the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation are making me look prophetic. This week, they launched "Flypaper." In one of the early posts, Fordham VP of Just About Everything Michael J. Petrilli parses a paragraph from my story about the American Federation of Teachers' campaign efforts on behalf of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. I paraphrased a comment from AFT Pennsylvania President Ted Kirsch, saying that he believes the New York senator is “more emphatic about overhauling” NCLB than Sen. Barack Obama. Petrilli points ...


In the April issue of Governing, Donald F. Kettl, right, says that "[President] Bush's original version of NCLB seems doomed." Kettl recounts the ironies of the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals' decision that NCLB is an unfunded mandate. The court relied on language originally inserted by Republicans to side with the liberal National Education Association. I made similar points when the court issued its opinion back in January. Kettl concludes that the court's decision presents a dilemma for both Republicans and Democrats. The right may have to pony up a lot more cash to keep faith with the unfunded mandate ...


When Pope Benedict XVI arrives in Washington, his presence will put the spotlight on the plight of Catholic schools. The Thomas B. Fordham Institute put out "Who Will Save America's Urban Catholic Schools?" It also notes that Catholic schools are more popular than the pope himself. “At the very time when all of us are struggling with how to create new good schools in the inner city, we have good schools in the inner city that are closing down,” Fordham's Michael J. Petrilli tells my colleague Erik Robelen in this Education Week story. Over at Swift & Changable, Charlie Barone gives ...


With minor fanfare last week, Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings announced that she would require states to use a uniform method of calculating graduation rates. By the end of the week, the Department of Education's inspector general released a report saying states would be closer to that goal if the department hadn't cut them slack on graduation rates. "If the department had been more assertive in requiring states to implement a longitudinal student-tracking system shortly after the enactment of NCLB, all states now could have four years of student data," the report says. "Instead, less than a quarter of the ...


The Arizona Senate has put up a roadblock to the proposal to opt out of NCLB. Last week, the Senate K-12 education committee essentially tabled an opt-out of NCLB bill in a tie vote. The bill's House sponsor hopes the committee will pass the proposal when absent committee members attend the next committee meeting, according to this brief in the current issue of Education Week. But, as I've written before, it's unlikely that any state is going to leave NCLB. Even if one chamber in a legislature agrees to leave NCLB behind, that doesn't guarantee the other will go along, ...


Bigswifty has posted all the numbers on supplemental educational services and public school choice. You have everything you need to solve the math problem I posed last week. The issue of participation in these services is about more than math. One potential reason for the participation rates (17 percent in SES and 1 percent in choice) is that districts are doing a poor job of informing parents that their children qualify for SES and choice. That's what advocates for those services say. Research in last week's reports suggest that they may be right. Fewer than a third of districts notified ...


“They’d rather stick with what they’ve got than deal with some wholesale retrenchment" on NCLB, Kevin Carey of Education Sector told me yesterday when we discussed Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings' graduation-rate announcement. It may be a good strategy. As I wrote back in January, the law is permanently authorized. If Congress doesn't revise it this year, it might not get to it next year, given that the next president is unlikely to take on K-12 issues as his or her first priority. This law could stay in place without big changes until 2010. But is that a ...


Consider this word problem: The number of students using free tutoring and school choice under NCLB increased dramatically between 2002-03 and 2003-04. But the percentage of students choosing those options didn't change. Explain how that could that be. You can see the answer in this new report released today by the Department of Education. (Click here for the summary.)...


In a post earlier this week, I raised two unanswered questions about the education secretary's proposed policy regarding high school graduation rates: Which formula will the Department of Education propose requiring states to use? Will the department require schools and districts to meet graduation-rate targets for every subgroup of students to make AYP? This morning, I talked with Bethany Little of the Alliance for Excellent Education, and she added one more: Will the department require states to set goals to increase high schools' graduation rates? Under NCLB, the department approved state plans to calculate graduation rates using some of the ...


Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings disappointed policy wonks by not answering my queries about the details of her plans for a uniform graduation rate. No one e-mailed asking if I might have any nuggets on the grad-rate issue in my notebook that I didn't share on the blog. I don't. But one e-mailer took me to task for failing to answer a question on a more important topic: Is the education secretary a potential source for sweet seats behind a dugout at Nationals Park? Sadly, the answer is no. After Spellings deflected my grad-rate questions, I asked her if she ...


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