This dispatch comes from my colleague Lesli Maxwell, who has done a fabulous job covering recovery and reform efforts in New Orleans' public schools in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. As part of this special project, she's spent nearly nine weeks in the city on several different trips, getting to know the students, teachers, and the man who is running the schools of New Orleans. Now that the Chicago media have reported that Paul Vallas, superintendent of the Recovery School District in New Orleans, is “open to running again” for governor in his home state of Illinois, there will be ...


If Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton weren't in a fierce political battle for their party's nomination, then students like Brian Griffin and Kaci Gardner probably wouldn't have gotten so involved in the campaign. Growing up in a state like Indiana—as I did—you realize that presidential candidates don't pay much attention to you when your electoral votes are a foregone conclusion. (I think Indiana's electoral votes—there are 12 now—have gone to the Republican nominee since the dawn of time.) Of course, it was mildly exciting when Indiana provided George H.W. Bush with his vice president. (That...


While the Democratic candidates are still trying to close the deal on the nomination, presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, is out showing his softer side by doing a tour of "forgotten places" in America - some of which just happen to be in potential swing states such as Ohio, Kentucky, and Arkansas. He wrapped up the tour last Friday in Arkansas, meeting with college students who've participated in the Our Kids Program, a mentoring program which helps provide positive role models for young black males - a pretty education-focused event, at least for McCain. And he ...


I just returned from the campaign trail in Indiana, where I hung out with high school students who are working for both Democratic presidential candidates and where I attended a Barack Obama campaign event, a town hall meeting in New Albany, Ind. You can read all about it in the next issue of Education Week - but here are some quick observations: - Education is definitely a minor player in the Illinois Democrat's stump speech - but his criticism of the No Child Left Behind Act solicited some of the loudest applause of the day. Really. I couldn't even hear ...


At a town hall meeting in the small town of Inez, Ky. yesterday, Sen. John McCain discussed how he would help rural America—including schools. He said he wants to bring more high-speed Internet access to rural communities by starting a "People Connect Program" that encourages companies to build the infrastructure in exchange for tax breaks. He touted the importance of community colleges and alternative paths to teaching (such as Teach for America) for school districts that struggle to recruit educators. Even as a significant amount of talk about education reform centers on the nation's struggling urban districts, it's important ...


These kids picked Obama. And even though the Democratic frontrunner signed their tardy slips, that wasn't good enough. Both have been suspended from a Scranton, Penn. high school....


Last month, I took John McCain to task for declaring that there's strong evidence linking autism and vaccines. I questioned what evidence he was referring to since research has found there's no such link. Well now, Barack Obama has waded into this controversy, declaring the research has been "inconclusive". Are the candidates reading the research? While they may certainly argue that more research is needed into the causes of autism, they should also acknowledge what the research has found—and that's no link between the mercury found in vaccines and autism....


Today, voters in Pennsylvania are casting votes that will likely make or break Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. At a rally in Scranton, the senator from New York admitted that "the last day is here." Clinton is a big ally to the teachers' unions, and a champion of early education. And, she's still trailing Barack Obama in delegate counts. With the end to this heated two-way Democratic primary near—whether it comes immediately after today's primary or if it drags out until summer—I'm wondering what impact a Clinton departure would have on the debate about education in this race. Would ...


William Ayers, the 1960s radical about whom Sen. Barack Obama was questioned at this week's Democratic presidential debate, is widely known in the field of education as a professor, commentator, and advocate for small schools and student rights. Of course, Ayers doesn't exactly hide his past as a former member of the Weather Underground and someone who has acknowledged a role in, and has refused to apologize for, bombings the group carried out at the Pentagon, the U.S. Capitol, and the Department of State. The debate exchange is here. The New York Times notes here what is behind the ...


Richard Simmons!...


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