My post on the "top-down" nature of the debate over the NCLB politics has drawn more comments than usual. While I often respond to commenters in private, I think three of these deserve a response. 1.) Michael Dannenberg—the one who planted the seed for the "top-down" post—clarifies that he counts big-city superintendents as part of the hierarchy that supports NCLB. Yes, that's true (see here). I thought of that about an hour after I posted the item. Maybe the whole thing could be clarified by saying that the closer a person is to the top of the policymaking...


With Monday's news that there's a 10,000 pound gorilla called NCLB, I decided to go out and look for it. I made stops at an Aspen Institute forum and a Department of Education advisory board meeting. I never found that gorilla. By yesterday I was asking: Why is it that NCLB is seen as a monstrosity on the campaign trail but not in Washington? I think I've got an answer, thanks to Michael Dannenberg of the New America Foundation. Dannenberg, who helped write the law as a staff member for Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., explained to me that ...


I'm still on my search for the 10,000 pound gorilla that is the No Child Left Behind Act. Even with this photo to guide me, I didn't find it at the U.S. Department of Education this morning. Instead of being scared of the law, the department officials there seemed to be planning for its future. "We think you're going to be a good resource for the department," Deputy Secretary of Education Raymond J. Simon told members of the National Technical Advisory Council. "You're going to be a good resource for Congress." All of this bodes well for NCLB, ...


I read in the Washington Post this morning that there's a 10,000 pound gorilla on the loose. It's called NCLB. I thought I might find it at the Aspen Institute's national summit on education. No one there seemed to have seen it. When moderator Ronald Brownstein asked a panel of four whether NCLB had a "net positive" or "net negative" impact, three said "net positive." No surprise there. All of them (Kati Haycock of the Education Trust and superintendents Beverly Hall of Atlanta and John Deasy of Prince George's County, Md.) have said similar things in recent months. AFT ...


Mike Petrilli links to the latest news story to taint the NCLB brand. The Bush administration set out to stamp the NCLB brand on everything it could, as my former colleague Misha Galley so helpfully pointed out in 2003. You hear the phrase from top officials all of the time. It's been attached to the Blue Ribbon Schools program, among others. At one point, www.ed.gov looked more like a full page ad for NCLB than a portal to a government agency. But perhaps they've gone too far. Whenever bad things happen, the NCLB brand is attached to them. ...


Barack Obama broke the presidential candidates' silence on NCLB. In what his campaign promoted as a major education policy speech, he uttered the phrase "No Child Left Behind." To precise, he said it five times. See the excerpts below. The headline on most stories about the speech highlighted Obama's promise to double funding for charter schools. That was indeed the news; as Michele McNeil points out, Obama's education plan doesn't mention charter schools. What's more, everything Obama said yesterday about NCLB is similar to what he's said before. (See samples from this entry or this one.) Yesterday's speech, left some ...


Now that the national nominating conventions are over (and my professional life is back to normal), I'm going to be posting here again. If you've read the the work my Ed Week colleagues and I produced out of Denver and St. Paul, you'll notice that Republicans and Democrats alike are not inclined to utter four words: No Child Left Behind. When Laura Bush addressed Republican delegates, she said that President Bush led "the most important education reforms in a generation, holding schools accountable and boosting funds for reading instruction." But she didn't mention NCLB by name. Indeed, when I interviewed ...


The Republicans aren't talking much about NCLB this week in St. Paul. Democrats didn't have much to say about it last week in Denver. But take a look at these two items on Campaign K-12, based on interviews with two principals in the current debate over the future of the law. Spellings Glad NCLB Reauthorization Didn't Happen Miller Optimistic About Obama and NCLB's Future...


If you're curious about where vice presidential prospect Joe Biden stands on education issues, Michele McNeil reports about his statements on merit pay and per-K, and I explain his regret over voting for NCLB....


Phi Delta Kappa and Education Next offer side-by-side comparisons of the American public's opinion of NCLB. PDK found that 16 percent of the public wants to "extend the law without change." Ed Next says that 21 percent want to "renew the law as is" and another 29 percent want "minimal changes." PDK's survey reports that 42 percent want to change the law "significantly," and Education Next said that 27 percent want "major changes." (Education Next provides a sample of teachers and found they are far more likely to dislike NCLB than the general public. Here's one teacher's opinion about the ...


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