ED in '08's Roy Romer and Sen. Barack Obama have now entered the hugging phase, which brings me to the following question: How nonpartisan can an organization be when its leader and chief spokesman is so partisan? Before Obama delivered his major education speech at a school outside of Denver on Wednesday, he got an enthusiastic introduction from former Colorado Gov. Romer, and a hug, as pictured in the AP photo above. Romer, who is also the chairman of the nonpartisan ED in '08 campaign, introduced Ilinois Democrat as the "next president of the United States" and praised him with ...


From contributing blogger David Hoff: In response to Sen. Barack Obama's education speech yesterday, the McCain campaign is circulating the following sentence I wrote in 2007: In his eight years in the state Senate and two years in the U.S. Senate, Mr. Obama hasn’t made a significant mark on education policy. I'd like to remind the campaign that earlier this year I quoted an Arizona superintendent saying this about McCain: I don’t think he has a strong track record of putting education at the top of his priorities. Read the Obama story and the McCain story and ...


Sen. Barack Obama was in Colorado today, talking about education at Mapleton Expeditionary School of the Arts in the town of Thornton. The school is one of 17 small learning environments in the 5,800-student Mapleton School District. Here, all 44 of the school's seniors were accepted to college—which stands in stark contrast to the dismal dropout rates in many high schools across the country. So Obama used this as an opportunity to talk more about his education plan, including teacher-recruitment initiatives, "fixing" the No Child Left Behind Act, and a $4,000 tax credit to help students pay ...


From contributing blogger Alyson Klein: So I'm sure you've heard by now that Sen. John McCain held a BBQ this weekend that was largely viewed as a veep audition. At least three of the folks in attendance could help McCain on education issues: - Gov. Charlie Crist of Florida, who served as that state's commissioner of education under Gov. Jeb Bush. He helped to implement the state's ambitious education agenda, which some conservatives see as a national model. As governor since 2007, Crist has supported performance pay for teachers. - Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisina, who served on the House ...


From contributing blogger Alyson Klein: So apparently it's not just my editor and fan of NBC's "The West Wing" Mark Walsh who noticed that the 2008 presidential election bares an uncanny resemblance to the final two seasons of the multi-award winning drama. The Washington Post had a piece on the similarities this week. Apparently, it's not a total coincidence, as the TV show's writers had Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois specifically in mind when they created Rep. Matt Santos of Texas, played by Jimmy Smits. But one major (and lamentable) difference: In the fictional campaign, education was actually a major ...


Maybe. Read union watchdog Mike Antonucci's post here, in which he reveals that the National Education Association's PAC Council approved a "conditional" endorsement of Sen. Barack Obama. You can't really get more conditional than the NEA's conditions. They're endorsing Obama only if he captures the required number of delegates to win, or if Sen. Hillary Clinton drops out of the race. They don't even appear to be endorsing for the general election, just for the Democratic primary! In other words, they'll endorse Obama only when he's the last Democrat standing. Wow. That's really going out on a limb....


From contributing blogger Alyson Klein: Now that he's beefed up his education team, Sen. John McCain is actually ... talking about the No Child Left Behind Act. In an interview with Essence magazine, McCain says that the law, while flawed, was a step in the right direction in terms of closing the achievement gap. The whole article is illuminating, especially in terms of McCain's strategy with African American voters. But here's a salient exchange: McCain: We also have to act at the federal level, update the No Child Left Behind Act. The No Child Left Behind Act was a good beginning, ...


From contributing blogger Alyson Klein: Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination, planned to introduce a bill today...on education! The measure, which is sponsored in the House by Rep. Mike Honda, D-Calif., is aimed at better coordinating the myriad of programs geared toward improving math and science education. For instance, it would establish an Office of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education within the U.S. Department of Education. The political message behind the legislation could be a three-for-the-price-of-one for Obama. It could paint him as an advocate of good government, a proponent ...


From contributing blogger Alyson Klein: Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the presumptive Republican nominee, has new rules for lobbyists who work with the campaign. McCain's campaign won't employ registered lobbyists, and volunteer advisers can't work on the subjects on which they lobby. I'm wondering how that will affect his education policy team, which includes some registered lobbyists. For instance, David Crane, who, according to the Fordham Foundation's Mike Petrilli, heads up McCain's education policy team. He's a registered lobbyist and the president of Quadripoint Strategies. His clients have included the U.S.Chamber of Commerce, according to the liberal-leaning media ...


From contributing blogger Alyson Klein: Kentucky and Oregon hold their Democratic primaries today. And I have to say, I'm sorry we didn't get to the Blue Grass State earlier in the election cycle, when it might have actually mattered more. The state has a storied history of education redesign, dating back nearly two decades with the Kentucky Education Reform Act. And there's a great debate going on there right now about whether to revamp the state's assessments or leave in place the current system, which includes student portfolios. It's the kind of in-the-weeds, local issue that typically doesn't get addressed ...


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