As the political season heats up, Campaign K-12 is becoming increasingly indispensable. Today, Michele McNeil reports from New Orleans that state legislators believe NCLB's accountability systems are "coercive." And I summarize what one of Sen. Barack Obama's campaign advisers has to say about NCLB, the Democratic presidential candidate's "comprehensive" education plan, and Sen. John McCain's speech last week....


With the goal of dramatically improving student achievement, many people are asking: What can schools do? Offer extra time, some say. Yesterday, the Center for American Progress released two reports on the topic. In one, Elana Rocha gives a sample of what more than 300 districts have done to expand learning time. In the other, Marguerite Roza and Karen Hawley Miles explain how districts can pay for such projects. At a session discussing the reports, a key aide to Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., said on Monday that there may be federal help on the way. This week, Sen. Kennedy plans ...


I spoke (via Skype) to a class for future teachers at the University of Tennessee. My main point was that the federal government has gradually increased the amount of testing and prescription over the past 20 years. In 1988, the ESEA mandated testingrequired districts for the first time to define the test scores they expected of Chapter 1 (now Title I) students, but didn't prescribe interventions. In 1994, the law required states to assess all students three times (once in elementary, once in middle, and once in high school) and to measure schools were making adequate yearly progress toward Title ...


Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., invited two mayors and the leaders of four urban districts to testify about the success their cities have had in improving student achievement.(Here's a link to the committee's page about the hearing.) Over the course of the three-hour hearing, the leaders gave the chairman and the rest of the Education and Labor Committee three ideas for changing NCLB: 1.) Create national standards: Right now, Atlanta Superintendent Beverly L. Hall said the only way for districts to measure their students' performance against the rest of the country is participate in the National Assessment of Educational Progress' ...


In yesterday's big education speech, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., neglected to say the four words that have defined federal K-12 policy for the past six years. Asked why, his advisers didn't utter them either. (Hint: the first starts with an 'N,' the second starts with a 'C,' ... I think you know where this is going.) Michele McNeil has more at Campaign K-12....


What do the NEA, the AFT, and the Texas Republican Party have in common? They all want to get rid of NCLB. Anyone reading my blog or Vaishali Honawar's knew where the teachers' unions stand. But if you read this item on the Dallas ISD blog (link via Russo), you'll learn that the Texas GOP believes that NCLB is "a massive failure [that] should be abolished." One Texan is still a true believer, though. At a Business Roundtable event yesterday, Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings gave a vigorous defense of the law. "We're going to hear a lot of wolf-in-sheep's-clothing ...


Proposals to change the way teachers are compensated brought down last year's attempt to reauthorize NCLB. Whoever is president next year will try again. Read more over at Campaign K-12....


On Saturday, a teacher asked Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., a softball question: "What would you do to correct President Bush's 'every child left behind' policy?" The audience cheered. All Obama had to do was say "Get rid of it," listen for the applause, and move on. But he didn't, according to Scott Elliott of the Dayton Daily News. Reporting for EWA's Education Election blog, Elliott transcribes Obama's extended answer. Here are two quotes almost short enough to fit on a bumper sticker, but they summarize where Obama stands: "The basic concept of No Child Left Behind was a good one." "The...


It sounds as if the AFT has gone from "Let's Get It Right" to "Let's Get Rid of It." At the union's convention, outgoing President Ed McElroy promised that AFT will work with the next administration to "create a new law," Vaishali Honawar reports from Chicago. Incoming President Randi Weingarten believes the law “is too badly broken to be fixed,” according to Sam Dillon of The New York Times, who got a preview of Weingarten's acceptance speech. AFT's about-face happened because its leadership is changing and because NCLB has become a punching bag for everyone from George Will to the ...


If you've ever wanted to meet Richard Simmons (or would like the chance to make a second first impression), be at the House Education and Labor Committee's hearing room on July 24. The exercise mogul will be there talking about the lack of PE in schools and the FIT Kids Act. (For background, read this post, and this one, and this one. I'd offer more, but that would provide fodder for those at Ed Week who think I've written too much about Simmons.) Simmons' Web site has most of the details, including inside information that Chairman George Miller, D-Calif., wants ...


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