The day Republican Mitt Romney seemed to catch fire by winning the Michigan primary, the National Science Board released a report that resulted in this New York Times headline: "Global Advances Challenge U.S. Dominance in Science." Dig deep into the report, released by the governing board of the National Science Foundation, and you'll find that student performance in math and science is both encouraging and depressing, while one big (and not surprising) problem persists: An achievement gap between minority and nonminority students in those two subjects doesn't improve as they progress through school, and in some cases, gets worse. ...


When you're done reviewing Mitt Romney's victory last night in Michigan from the likes of The Washington Post, Google News, or your favorite blog, you should turn to one more authority on this presidential race: kids. Education publishing company Scholastic has deployed its "Kid Reporters" to write, photograph, and blog about the 2008 presidential campaign. You can read what they have to say about the Michigan primary here. You also can read 12-year-old Elizabeth Conway's review of Republican Mike Huckabee's "Huckaburger." (She notes that "a deep-fried pickle—a specialty of Arkansas—may have offset the nutritional value of the vegetables.") ...


The Nevada affiliate of the National Education Association is obviously feeling some heat for its decision to file suit to protest new at-large precincts at casinos on the Las Vegas Strip that will make it easier for workers to vote during Saturday's caucus. The Nevada State Teachers Association is defending itself on its Web site, maintaining that their suit isn't about drowning out the voice of the state's largest union, which represents culinary and other workers in the casinos (and happens to be endorsing Illinois Sen. Barack Obama.) Instead, the lawsuit complains of inequalities—that teachers are not afforded the ...


Yes, this presidential election is very important to the future of public schools. And yes, the campaign is shaping up to be a fascinating barn-burner. But as I've been scanning headlines from across the country, I've been reminded that the nuts-and-bolts of running schools—from how many teachers a school can afford to hire to what kind of after-school programs a district can offer—are determined by state and local politicians, many of whom will be elected or re-elected this year. Headlines from major newspapers across the country—just from the last week—foreshadow daunting budget tasks that politicians will ...


The teachers' unions are very busy in Nevada, which will host a presidential primary on Jan. 19. But the political strategies of the two powerful, rival unions — the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association — are very different. To make sure their teachers are heard, one union has filed a lawsuit seeking to drown out another union's voice, while the other teachers' union is using the grassroots method. The Nevada State Teachers Association, an affiliate of the NEA, is suing the state Democratic Party for making it easier for culinary workers in the Las Vegas casinos to vote. ...


When is getting an education endorsement not a good thing? When you're a Republican, and you get the approval of a state affiliate of the National Education Association. About a month ago, my colleague and Campaign K-12 contributor Alyson Klein wondered whether Mike Huckabee's endorsement by the New Hampshire affiliate of the NEA would help him win his party's nomination. Well, someone finally used it as ammunition in a debate. Last night, at the South Carolina debate televised on Fox News, former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson included that NEA endorsement in a list of other perceived Republican sins (like raising ...


The only sitting governor in the presidential race—and the campaign's loudest NCLB naysayer—is calling it quits. Though New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson hasn't made it official, every media outlet in town is reporting it. (Update: He just made it official, a little before 3:30 p.m. today). This means Gov. Richardson, a Democrat, can stop thinking up more verbs he can use to describe what he wants to do with NCLB. "Scrap it", "junk it", "get rid of it", "throw it out", and the list goes on...While that may have resonated with the education community fed ...


Boosting teacher pay is a hot education reform topic on the presidential campaign trail, especially for Democrats. Barack Obama even talked about it last night during his second-place-finish speech in the New Hampshire primary, saying, "We [need to] stop talking about how great teachers are and start rewarding them for their greatness." It's a popular message with unions, whose members are a key voting bloc. Teacher pay is relatively easy for voters to understand in short sound bites. Plus, many voters find it hard to argue with the need to pay teachers more money for the vital, and difficult, public ...


No matter which party they identified with, voters in yesterday's New Hampshire primary are worried about one thing: the economy. New Hampshire featured big come-from-behind victories for Sen. John McCain of Arizona, a Republican written off months ago, and Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York, who was essentially written off in this state after Barack Obama's resounding victory in Iowa. With the economy weighing heavily on voters' minds, what better time for the presidential candidates to start talking more earnestly about how the quality of public schools does — or does not — affect the national economy? The producers of the ...


In the race for the presidency, having served as a governor is a big resume boost. Among recent occupants of the White House, look at President George W. Bush (Texas) and predecessors Bill Clinton (Arkansas), and Ronald Reagan (California)—all ex-CEOs of their states. In this presidential campaign, there are two ex-governors running for office — Republicans Mitt Romney, of Massachusetts, and Mike Huckabee, of Arkansas. And, on the Democratic side, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson is seeking the nation's highest office while remaining his state's chief executive. But if you can't be a governor, you'd better round 'em up in ...


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