Right now, passage of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act this year looks about as likely, as, well...Peyton Manning returning to the Colts. (apologies to my co-blogger and Hoosier Michele McNeil.)
But that doesn't mean Congress has completely stopped talking about these issues, which is great for folks who want to keep K-12 on the radar screen as the election draws closer.
The House education committee just passed its own Republican-backed ESEA renewal bill. And over on the Senate side, the Democratic-led Senate education committee is holding a hearing tomorrow on education's role in bolstering American competitiveness. Full details here.
The panel's chairman, Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, has been working for months on a big, omnibus-style bill aimed at bolstering the middle class. Teacher quality—particularly improved teacher preparation and support—is going to be part of the equation, although folks are still working out the details of exactly what that will look like. More on Harkin's early ideas here.
The administration included its own big ideas on teacher quality in its budget request. When that proposal was introduced, some folks wondered whether it was meant to help drum up support for the president among educators, a key voting block. It will be interesting to see if there's any overlap between what the administration outlined and Harkin's ideas.