Arizona Sen. John McCain, who until yesterday barely said boo about education, now has the solution to our education ills: Every child should be blessed with a teacher like I had, and to learn at institutions with high academic standards and codes of conduct that reinforce the values their parents try to impart to them. This snippet from a speech he gave today was set against the backdrop of Episcopal High School, (pictured above), a private boarding school in Alexandria, Va., where Sen. McCain got his diploma in 1954. (Photo credit: Episcopal High School web site). In his speech, Sen. ...


Perhaps John McCain is finally ready to start talking about education—on his own terms. In his big get-to-know-me speech as part of a nationwide biographical tour, the GOP nominee brought up education without being asked. And that's remarkable for a candidate who seems to talk about education only when he has to. In his speech in Meridian, Miss., McCain talks for a good while about government's role in children's lives, and says this about education: Government can't just throw money at public education while reinforcing the failures of many of our schools, but should, through choice and competition, by ...


While the next president will play a key role in figuring out the future of the No Child Left Behind Act, the membership (and leadership) of the two education committees in Congress - the House Education and Labor Committee and the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee - is also going to be very important to reauthorization. And it looks like there's going to be some interesting match-ups this year for voters concerned about education. In the House, just on the Democratic side, 28 members were elected to Congress this year by a margin of less than 55 percent, ...


There's something to be said for starting with a blank page. But the Department of Education is taking this to new levels and violating the spirit, or perhaps even the letter, of the federal Freedom of Information Act. This law is supposed to ensure that government business (which is funded by you, the taxpayer) is conducted out in the open. There are exceptions, of course, for things like national security and records on juveniles, for example. For background, read Kathleen Kennedy Manzo's recent story about her fruitless (so far) quest to get public information out of the Ed Department about ...


Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a daring guy who jumped out in support of John McCain when practically everyone else had counted the Senator out, is boosting his education creds. Pawlenty is the new chairman of the Denver-based Education Commission of the States. He follows Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, a Democrat. Pawlenty, who is also chairman of the National Governors Association, has been suggested as a VP pick for McCain, who could certainly use a running mate who believes education belongs on the national agenda....


....who would it vote for? Turns out, that's not such an absurd question, because ED in '08 chairman Roy Romer is a superdelegate. Although ED in '08 has struggled to raise the level of dialogue about education, it may have some leverage since Romer, a former Democratic national chairman, is a superdelegate who hasn't committed to either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. In such a tight race, both candidates are scrambling to boost their delegate tally, and are vying for votes from each state's "superdelegates." Interestingly, ED in '08 makes the point over and over again that it's a nonpartisan ...


The AFL-CIO—a traditional Democratic ally—hasn't decided who to campaign for. Leaders are reportedly torn between Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., and Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. But, they know exactly who they want to campaign against: presumptive Republican nominee Sen. John McCain of Arizona. As the Democratic primary battle wages on, the union is helping the Democrats make their general case against McCain by distributing information to their members on a range of issues, from the economy to health-care to yes ... education. And its materials are targeted. For instance, members of the American Federation of Teachers (which has...


It's already starting! Al Franken, who is challenging Sen. Norm Coleman, a Republican, for his Senate seat in the swing state of Minnesota, showed up on David Letterman on Tuesday night ... and bashed No Child Left Behind! On late night TV! Shockingly, Letterman wasn't nearly as excited as I was .... he seemed only slightly more amused than Jon Stewart did when Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings brought up "growth models" during her appearance on the Daily Show last year. Franken was much wonkier (and not nearly as entertaining) as a senate candidate than as a comedian. I think he's trying ...


Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., yesterday released a statement that amounted to a back-handed compliment of the U.S. Department of Education's plan to allow up to 10 states to use "differentiated consequences" in implementing the No Child Left Behind Act. "While a small pilot, this is a long overdue step in the right direction. By allowing states to differentiate between schools that need modest improvements and those that are chronically failing, this pilot will provide some much-needed flexibility," Clinton said in the March 18 statement. "This step, however, should be just the beginning. No Child Left Behind is ...


Education issues - and specifically the achievement gap between low-income and minority children and their more affluent peers - made a cameo appearance in Sen. Barack Obama's highly anticipated speech on race, delivered in Philadelphia today. Obama acknowledged that schools in many parts of the nation remain racially segregated, even 50 years after the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark Brown v. Board of Education school desegregation ruling. No policy prescriptions (that wasn't the point of the speech) but in his remarks, Obama appears to frame educational quality as a civil rights issue, particularly in this passage, in which Obama urged ...


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