Back in town this morning, and I've found a link to Rep. Miller's NCLB speech on C-SPAN's homepage. This link comes with a technical warning. My Firefox browser failed to access it, and Internet Explorer succeeded only after I downloaded RealAudio. More later with links to news stories and reaction from the education community. UPDATE: View Miller's speech, via YouTube (edited version):...


Through the miracle of technology, even though I'm far away, I'm able to bring you a quick roundup of Education Week's latest NCLB stories. In "Key NCLB-Renewal Bills Withheld Until Fall," Alyson Klein and I note that congressional committees have postponed action on NCLB until September, leaving some to question whether Congress has enough time to get a bill past before the presidential primaries dominate the political scene. CORRECTED PARAGRAPH In "12-State Study Finds Falloff in Testing Gains After NCLB," Scott Cech reports on the latest academic research on student achievement during the NCLB era. The new study says that ...


I'm traveling today, so I wasn't there when Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., gave his speech on the future of NCLB. Education Week's Mark Walsh was there though, and filed this story. I'll be back in the office tomorrow and will provide a roundup of reactions to what the chairman said today....


The Public Education Network has convened public forums and focus groups over the past three years. The Washington-based group heard from educators, parents, and community leaders in cities such as Austin, San Francisco, and Orlando as well as other cities that have public education funds. (Those are private groups that provide grants and other supports to school districts.) Here's the summary graph from PEN President Wendy Puriefoy's intro to the final report on those meetings, released today: "Over three years, and at every hearing site, the public supported the goals of NCLB. However, until the act addresses the realities of ...


In yesterday's post on the new report from the Center on Education Policy, I cited the education secretary's statement referring to "much other evidence" that shows schools are adding instructional time rather than taking it away from subjects other than reading and math. Curious, I e-mailed Press Secretary Katherine McLane and asked her to show me the research. Here's a summary of her response: McLane wrote that data from the 2003-04 school year in the department's School and Staffing Survey show that instructional time in grades 1-4 increased by two hours a week over the previous 15 years. Citing the ...


The Center on Education Progress is out with the latest of many NCLB reports. This one documents how schools are emphasizing reading and mathematics at the expense of other subjects in the NCLB era. The report says that 44 percent of the 349 districts CEP surveyed reported that they reduced time in at least one of the following subjects: social studies, science, art and music, physical education, and lunch and/or recess. Those districts cut, on average, 30 minutes a day from those subjects. That represents 31 percent of instructional time in those schools, the report said. Not surprisingly, the ...


Lobbyists, go ahead and make your vacation plans. The House Education and Labor Committee won't be taking up NCLB reauthorization before Congress recesses for August. In the schedule it released this morning, the committee listed no NCLB hearings or markups. Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., had targeted July for getting a bill out of his committee, but now he's postponed that until fall. Since the beginning of summer, the word has been that Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., was planning on taking his NCLB bill to the Senate's education committee in the fall. Now the question is: Can Congress finish a ...


From contributor Mark Walsh The early presidential debates finally got around to something more than lip service to education issues, as the CNN/YouTube debate on Monday night devoted a string of four questions to K-12 education issues. The unusual format at the July 23 debate at the Citadel in Charleston, S.C., featured citizens’ delivering questions via YouTube videos, with CNN producers selecting which questions to direct to the eight candidates seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. The most provocative question came from Randy McGirr of Trona, Calif., whose heavy-metal style video was unequivocally opposed to the law: “NCLB was ...


Today Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings went up to Capitol Hill and took the opportunity to talk about the ongoing debate over testing. Should it remain centered around a statewide test given once a year or should districts or even schools develop a series of tests that could eventually be used in accountability decisions? As an architect of the current state-based approach, Ms. Spellings said she needs to be convinced there's good reason for change. In her brief presentation to a forum convened by the Congressional Black Caucus, she said she would oppose anything she believes would "water down the ...


I was a little disappointed when I read the guest list for this broadcast of "On Point," an NPR show out of Boston. Rep. Peter Hoekstra, R-Mich., and Susan Ohanian from the Educator Roundtable are zealous critics of NCLB and Amy Wilkins from the Education Trust is a staunch defender of it. After listening, I've decided that the show's producers were onto something. The callers were just as strident as the guests. Parents said their schools ignore gifted children or that teachers have to surreptitiously teach anything that isn't test prep. A teacher responded, saying the law's accountability measures ensured ...


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