Rep. Timothy J. Walz, D-Minn., a freshman and former teacher who won his seat in an upset victory in 2006, is co-sponsoring a bill that would suspend the accountability provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act, according to my colleague, David Hoff, over at NCLB Act II. If that sounds like a bold move for someone facing a potentially tough re-election battle ... it actually, well, isn't. At least two of the three Republicans vying to take on Walz in the general election have said they would scrap the NCLB law, according to this news report. Still, it's telling that, ...


Joel Packer isn't the only new face on this blog. Frequent contributing blogger Alyson Klein is now officially a part of Campaign K-12. We will share the duties of blogging about the presidential election, plus Congressional, state and local races. Alyson is a federal beat reporter at EdWeek who manages to add some spice to the world of the federal budget (by, for example, talking about the science of ice skating in an otherwise routine budget story!) She's has already offered valuable insight (and a lot of ellipses...) on this blog—on everything from the West Wing TV show imitating ...


The New York Times' David Brooks sounds very much like John McCain's education adviser Lisa Graham Keegan when he challenges Sen. Barack Obama's plans for education reform in an op-ed piece that appears today. Yesterday, Keegan laid out the presumptive Republican presidential nominee's vision for reporters, and said he shouldn't apologize for not having unveiled his education plan yet. "It's very easy to write a detailed program for an old system," Keegan said in criticizing Obama's plan, which has been on his Web site for months. Brooks makes a similar point: "He proposes dozens of programs to build on top ...


Sen. John McCain's education adviser, Lisa Graham Keegan, sat down today with several reporters for a rapid-fire Q-and-A session hosted by the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, and she laid out the most details yet about the Arizona Republican's plans for the No Child Left Behind Act. And yes, a more formal education plan is coming, she said, but not until "back-to-school" time in the fall, when people are listening. I'll go into more detail in a bit, but I wanted to highlight two important things I thought Keegan said. First, McCain's plan to freeze discretionary federal spending applies to education ...


For the American Federation of Teachers, Hillary Clinton's concession on Saturday means that it's time for the union to repair any lost love and throw its full support behind Barack Obama. Although the Obama campaign will certainly appreciate the AFT's organized foot-soldiers, the union will have to work a little harder to wield any influence since it spent the last several months aligned with Clinton—and is a late-comer to the Obama bandwagon. Unlike the National Education Association, at least the AFT endorsed a candidate when it still mattered....


Now that we know who will be squaring off in this presidential race, it seems relevant to examine more closely the differences between the candidates. For a good summary of what we know so far, check out my colleagues' story in this week's issue of EdWeek. Campaign K-12 blogger Alyson Klein wasn't able to squeeze everything from her notebook into the story, so this blog seemed a good place to add some additional perspective on the National Education Association's better-late-than-never endorsement, especially since it involves Joel Packer (the man with ALL of the answers!) Alyson writes:In its endorsement, the ...


Today, Sen. Barack Obama delivered a major speech on the economy and offered this education tidbit: "I’ll be talking in more detail next week about how we can make our workforce more competitive by reforming our education system, but there’s also an immediate squeeze we need to deal with, and that’s college affordability." He reiterated his plan to give $4,000 a year in tax credits for tuition, but I'm most intrigued by any new ideas he'll have next week to link education reform with the economy. Stay tuned here for updates next week....


From contributing blogger Alyson Klein: One interesting little factoid I left out of my post on the Association of Educational Publishers election forum Friday came from Lisa Graham Keegan, Sen. John McCain's education adviser. At a press conference following the event, Keegan said that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee has a core of about 15 education advisers, many of whom I think are listed here. But apparently, he also has about 100 people in total, working on education for the campaign across the country. That sounds like ... a lot. Even Keegan described it as "unwieldy." Maybe that's why they haven't ...


From contributing blogger Alyson Klein: So this morning I attended the Association of Educational Publishers election forum in Washington. Lisa Graham Keegan, former Arizona schools chief turned adviser to the presidential campaign of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., squared off with Jeanne Century, director of science education and the director of research and evaluation at the University of Chicago's Center for Elementary Mathematics and Science Education, who represented the campaign of Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. They managed to cover a lot of ground without getting into a lot of specificity, in very campaign-like fashion. They both seem to agree that there ...


As some astute readers have noticed, there's a new face on my blog. Look up! It's the NEA's Joel Packer, who is proclaiming in the above advertisement to have ALL of the answers. While I don't have anything to do with Joel's smiling face appearing there, I thought I'd use this opportunity to ask the answer-man some important Campaign K-12 questions, since I only have SOME of the answers: 1. Obama won the Democratic nomination without the NEA's official endorsement. Will the NEA hold much power with Obama or his advisors? 2. Will the NEA spend more than ED in ...


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