Alexander Russo offers an interesting case study in Slate on a 1999 dispute over who hires and fires principals in Chicago—and what Sen. Barack Obama's actions mean for changes in education policy if he wins the presidency. Essentially, Russo paints a picture of an Obama who stood on the sidelines as then-Chicago Public Schools Superintendent Paul Vallas went to the Illinois Legislature in an effort to wrest more control over his principals from local school councils. The story quotes a Republican state legislator who said Obama wasn't really that bold, or creative, when it came to education. Russo writes: ...


Apparently even teachers' unions believe voters aren't really thinking about education this election cycle. The American Federation of Teachers is running a radio ad for its endorsed presidential candidate, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., in the primary battleground of Pennsylvania. The ad doesn't mention education or schools at all, although one of three voters featured in the ad is a teacher. The others are a "retired university professor" and a former Navy careerist. One voter says she's "worried we're falling into a recession" -- more evidence of how the economy has trumped education. Another says that the presumptive Republican ...


On this April Fool's Day, the Fordham Foundation has a particularly entertaining issue of its Education Gladfly. For those of us still wondering if the $60 million in foundation money from Gates and Broad will make any difference in the presidential election, the Fordham Folks have this to say... ...which is a parody of this real ad by ED in '08:...


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...


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