If I were writing this as a traditional news story, this would be my lead: "Forty-two percent of voters surveyed in a recent Associated Press-Yahoo poll said they would be much more likely, or somewhat more likely, to vote for a candidate who supports teacher-led prayer in public schools." But since this is my blog, here's what I will say: "For the 42 percent of voters who think teacher-led prayer is such a good idea that they would base their choice for president on it, have you considered regulating such prayer? Imagine what the teachers could pray about: 'Dear God, ...


In Maryland, the icy and downright hostile relationship between State Superintendent of Schools Nancy Grasmick and Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley exemplifies the ugly power struggle that can result when a governor doesn't directly control his state's school chief. As O'Malley continues to push for Grasmick's resignation, she refuses to step down. After all, the governor is not her boss—the State Board of Education is. Reporter Liz Bowie details the duel from Grasmick's perspective in this Baltimore Sun story. Says one Grasmick critic in the story, who wants her to bow to the wishes of Gov. O'Malley: "The governor was ...


Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who resisted efforts to bring vouchers to his home state when he was governor, is now trying to say he's a school-voucher champion. Except his record, and others, say differently. First of all, the New Hampshire affiliate of the National Education Association thinks he's against vouchers, and used that rationale to explain why it endorsed him as the Republican choice in this early-voting state. Incidentally, Huckabee has not been out on the campaign trail, jumping up and down asserting that the NEA got it wrong. Moreover, his record as governor in Arkansas shows just how ...


Although Democratic candidate Joe Biden says education will be his top domestic priority if elected president, his plan to fix public schools apparently isn't very remarkable, or memorable, at least to the Associated Press. A story that moved on the AP wires today declared: "Democrat Joe Biden unveiled an education plan Wednesday that would provide free preschool to every child and bonuses to teachers who work in poor neighborhoods." Except Biden, a U.S. Senator from Delaware, unveiled the same plan more than two months ago....


ED in '08 has come out with an in-your-face public-service announcement in these days before the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses. The ad, which ED in '08 says will start running soon in key battleground states, portrays several teenagers who declare that they are the future. But the future is bleak: "I will steal your car," one student says. "I will use drugs to escape," another says. "You will support me because I can't get a job." You get the idea. ED in '08, whose goal is to make education a top priority in the presidential campaign, still has a long ...


With Oprah Winfrey's rock-star support of Barack Obama, ABC News reporter Diane Sawyer wonders what's next for the daytime talk diva if the Democratic senator from Illinois wins the presidency. Education secretary, perhaps? Watch the video of Oprah's answer from yesterday, (fast-forward to minute 5:15), and you'll find that her evasive answer shows she's ready for politics, even if she says a government job isn't for her. She says she can't think of a more compelling job than the one she has now, which she "kinda" likes. For now, anyway, Oprah's sights seem to be set on the monumental ...


Former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani has assembled his education advisory committee, and given that he thinks school choice will turn around America's schools in just three years, his list holds few surprises. Among the school-choice advocates on the 16-member advisory committee are Terry Moe, who is Giuliani's education chairman and a Stanford University professor and Hoover Institution senior fellow. One of the most prominent proponents of vouchers, Moe has written books on the issue and penned this for EdWeek in 2000. Other school choice advocates are Clint Bolick, the former leader of the Alliance for School Choice and ...


Not only is Republican Mike Huckabee, a former Arkansas governor, endearing himself to a growing mass of voters, but he's gaining the support of a subset of a politically powerful bunch: teachers. Ex-Bushie, Hoover Institution fellow, and Fordham Foundation VP Michael J. Petrilli explores this phenomenon in a National Review piece. Petrilli raises many good points, which have been echoed by the folks I've been talking to over the last few days for an upcoming story I'm working on about the presidential candidates who were, or are, governors. Democrats in Arkansas, who are the first to admit they don't see ...


Today, two news stories caught my attention that remind me of a potentially powerful political force in education politics: "Home-schoolers rally to Huckabee," Los Angeles Times; and "Homeschooler elected to chair state board of education," The State (Columbia, S.C.)...


In the last Republican presidential debate before the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses, two of the candidates, Mike Huckabee of Arkansas and Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, argued about which had the better education record as his state's governor. You can read a transcript of the debate here, and you'll see that education was a hot topic—from Congressman Ron Paul's assertion that the major education problem is that judges have driven God out of schools to former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani's repeated assertion that school choice will result in an education "revolution." But back to the issue of who's ...


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