From contributing blogger David Hoff: At an event in Washington today, Jane Swift explained where Sen. John McCain stands on rewarding teachers based on the improvement of their students. The Arizona Republican would give extra pay to teachers who "measurably raise" student achievement, the former Massachusetts governor told the audience of business leaders. No surprise there. The shocker came when Jason Kamras, the representative of the Obama campaign, essentially agreed with Swift. In answering a question, Kamras said that "student achievement does need to be part of that equation" in performance-pay plans. It's a bit of a departure from what ...


So last night I attended Sen. Barack Obama's speech to the NAACP. He got a rousing reception and stressed the need for parents to step up and get involved in their children's educations. He linked that involvement to the struggles of the civil rights movement. Many teachers in the audience liked what he had to say. You can check out their reactions in my web story on the event, posted here. The teachers I talked to also liked Obama's policy proposals, which he alluded to briefly. They said they didn't know much about Sen. John McCain of Arizona's education platform. (That...


A month ago, John McCain's top education advisor told a group of reporters that the presumptive GOP presidential nominee believes No Child Left Behind is "adequately funded." In fact, she was so clear in her statement that it became the headline for the blog item I wrote summarizing Lisa Graham Keegan's roundtable discussion with reporters. But in a perplexing turn of events, another advisor said on Meet the Press this weekend that the senator wants to "fully fund" NCLB. (Hat tip to my colleague David Hoff for bringing this to my attention.) So which is it? Does he want to ...


"America is only as strong as her schools...As our schools go, so goes our country." That's the conclusion of a new ad by ED in '08, which will start running today in seven key election states: Ohio, Colorado, Iowa, Missouri, New Mexico, Virginia and Wisconsin. ED in '08 (which in this ad is referring to itself by its Strong American Schools moniker), spent $5 million on these ads, called "One Nation Left Behind." Watch the ad here. In the ad, actress Jamie Lee Curtis provides the voice-over, and ticks off the names of countries that are passing us--countries like ...


Check out these three worthwhile reads: "NEA too big for its britches". Don't mess with Superman, or the NEA, at Politico.com. "Schools grapple with rising fuel costs" at EdWeek. Energy prices are an education issue. "Presidential hopefuls differ on K-12 spending" at EdWeek. The biggest education difference between Obama and McCain is clear....


Sen. John McCain will use a speech he plans to give to the NAACP annual convention next week in Cincinnati to talk about education. According to this Associated Press story, he will talk about merit pay for teachers, and tutoring for low-income students on July 16. His chief education adviser, Lisa Graham Keegan, told a group of reporters last month that McCain's official education platform won't be unveiled until later in the summer or early fall, during "back-to-school" time when people are "listening." But apparently, next week's NAACP meeting has provided the Arizona senator with the "right opportunity" to talk ...


The L.A. Times this morning is throwing cold water on Sen. Barack Obama's ambitious plans to spend all sorts of money on improving education, making men better fathers, and cutting taxes for the middle class—among other things that carry hefty price tags. Budget analysts caution that in these tough financial times, Obama's big ideas will run smack into harsh economic realities. And education will be just one of many competing priorities fighting for money and attention....


So my colleague, Vashali Honawar, blogged Barack Obama speech at the National Education Association's convention this weekend. You can read all about it here. And you can watch most of the speech over at the Education Intelligence Agency. There's been quite a lot of reaction to the speech - and particularly Obama's mention of merit pay - out in the education blogland. For instance, according to eduwonk, the NEA replayed portions of the speech throughout its convention...but deleted the parts where Obama expressed support for merit pay and charter schools. And Joe Williams over at Democrats for Education Reform, ...


NPR this morning did a segment on just how bipartisan John McCain and Barack Obama really are. (Hat tip to Liam, over at Flypaper.) As an example of just how willing Obama is to break ranks with his party, NPR points to an interview the Illinois Democrat gave to Fox News Sunday, in which he pointed out that he embraces the not-so-Democratic ideas of charter schools and some sort of merit pay for teachers. But this Obama interview on Fox News was from the end of April. That was more than two months ago, before Hillary Clinton dropped out of ...


As the National Education Association's annual convention gets started, the nation's largest teachers' union unveiled its plan to fix schools by 2020. The crux: get rid of the No Child Left Behind Act, diminish the federal role in education while still giving states lots of money. More specifically, the NEA wants the federal government to focus grant money on recruiting, training, and supporting teachers in hard-to-staff schools, better fund Title I and special education, and require states to develop adequacy and equity plans to address funding disparities among school districts. The six-point plan also calls for revamping accountability systems to ...


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