Last night’s Republican presidential debate in Miami, sponsored by the Spanish-language television broadcaster Univision, was aimed at addressing issues important to Hispanic voters, a key constituency in swing states such as Florida. The discussion yielded an all-too-rare question on how the candidates would improve K-12 education, and specifically, how they would address the dropout crisis, which is especially prevalent in the Hispanic community. While none said anything new, or particularly surprising, the seven participating candidates at least provided a chance to compare their proposals–and see how comfortable they are talking about education issues. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, ...


While the topic of education may be taking a backseat to other important issues on the presidential campaign trail, it's getting some prominent attention in candidates' television ads. Here are a couple of the latest: Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, who recently got the endorsement of the New Hampshire affiliate of the National Education Association in this early-voting state, talks of a "new beginning" and bashes the No Child Left Behind Act as an "unfunded mandate" that's been "difficult for so many." The ad started running yesterday in Iowa and New Hampshire. And in this one, former ...


This dispatch comes from my colleague, Bess Keller, who covers the teacher beat, including the National Education Association: Last summer I saw Mike Huckabee take the stage at the National Education Association’s annual meeting and asked myself: What kind of GOP presidential candidate bothers to join the NEA’s Parade of Hopefuls? The nation’s largest union had invited both Democratic and Republican candidates to address the 7,000-plus delegates in Philadelphia, and, not surprisingly, given the NEA's links with the Democratic Party, all seven major Dems gave speeches. But Huckabee was the only Republican to accept. Must be, ...


Despite some Republican success in courting Hispanic voters over the last decade, it appears that hard stances by a number of high-profile GOP politicians and presidential candidates on illegal immigration are, predictably, causing a big political U-turn. That's according to a study released today by the Pew Hispanic Center, which finds that the percentage of Hispanics who say they're Republicans is at its lowest point since at least 1999 —at 23 percent. That's down from 28 percent in 2004 and 2006. That's good news for Democrats: 57 percent of Hispanic voters now say they're Democrats, up from 49 percent in ...


ED in ’08, the national campaign to bring education to the forefront of the presidential campaigns, has gotten some attention lately for struggling to make headway in its efforts to make improving public schools a top campaign issue. (Read the EdWeek story here, and blog items here and here.) Yesterday, in fact, I suggested that the group could take a more aggressive stand on education issues if it wanted to gain traction. That may happen if a new documentary, produced by Broken Pencil Productions in partnership with ED in ’08, generates some serious attention. The trailer for "Two Million Minutes," (below)...


Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who is enjoying a surge in popularity and support, is apparently not enjoying the continued questions about his faith—and this time, he was asked about teaching creationism in schools. According to an Associated Press story, he "bristled" when asked whether the theory of creationism, or intelligent design, should be taught in public schools alongside evolution. He proclaimed the question "irrelevant." Huckabee, a Republican, said: "I'm happy to answer what I believe, but what I believe is not what's going to be taught in 50 different states." What he believes, by the way, according to the...


Money—and the Gates name—apparently can't buy everything. Especially a top spot for education in the presidential campaigns. My colleagues Erik W. Robelen and Alyson Klein detail the struggles of the ED in '08 campaign in this Edweek story published yesterday. The group, funded with about $15 million so far from the Gates and Broad foundations, is trying to make education a top issue in the presidential campaigns. To be sure, ED in '08 has a laudable goal. But they seem to have trouble executing and refining their message, which must compete with significant issues on the federal ...


This was no Iowa caucus. Nor was it a New Hampshire primary. But if the votes of 710 social studies teachers counted, there would be no need for such politicking. The presidential finalists would be: Republican Fred Thompson and Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton. Those are the results of a "presidential primary" sponsored by Pearson, an education publishing company, at the annual meeting late last week in San Deigo of the National Council on the Social Studies. The 710 voting teachers had to pick a party, then got to vote for one candidate. The results showed that if social studies teachers—who...


Over the weekend, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney named his education advisory committee. You can see the entire list here, but the 22-member committee is clearly a who's who of GOP education policy wonks, with a healthy mix of federal and state policy experts. Thanks to my colleagues on the federal beat, David Hoff and Alyson Klein, for helping me hit on the highlights: —Nina S. Rees is a new Romney convert. The former Bush-Cheney adviser originally was advising Republican presidential competitor and former New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, but has now joined Romney's camp as its education ...


Since I've already updated you on the education question that did get asked during Wednesday night's Republican CNN/YouTube debate, I thought I'd put together a collection of my favorite school-related questions submitted to YouTube that were not asked. These certainly would have sparked interesting responses. Take this one: A 14-year-old from Traverse City, Mich., who declares that teen violence is actually caused by school, and "all the crap" students have to put up with there. Or this one, from a Florida student who is using way too many big words for his age. Did someone do his homework? Then ...


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