Check out Michael J. Petrilli's thoughtful piece in the National Review that sizes up the education debate in the presidential campaigns. Petrilli, a vice president of the Fordham Foundation and a former Bush administration education official, offers an important insight at the end of his article: That perhaps education is such a yawner issue in this election not because the public doesn't care, but because the candidates aren't offering anything bold or truly new to the debate....


Last night's CNN/YouTube Republican debate in Florida provided an opportunity for regular people to submit questions to the presidential questions via video through YouTube—and thousands did. As I scanned the questions beforehand, I found that hundreds dealt with education, from how the candidates would change No Child Left Behind and help students better afford college to where the candidates stand on evolution in the classroom and national standards. But only one of the 33 questions asked during the debate even touched on the subject of education. Perhaps the producers could have swapped out the question about the Confederate ...


That's the opening line of New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson's new television ad that's running in Iowa. I question the "only" and the "bold" part of his claim. His "bold plan," if elected president: getting rid of the No Child Left Behind Act, expanding prekindergarten, paying teachers more, and expanding math and science academies. Hardly original ideas, since most of those proposals are shared by every other Democratic candidate in the race. Webster's dictionary defines bold as "readiness to take risks, daring, fearless," and although he goes a step further than other candidates by calling for an all-out elimination of ...


Democrat Hillary Clinton outlined her plan to cut the dropout rate in half yesterday at a campaign stop in South Carolina, an early-voting state in the presidential primary race with one of the lowest graduation rates in the country. Sen. Clinton, of New York, has some good ideas (which I'll get to in a minute) and is attacking a problem that is downright devastating in particular parts of the country. She announced her plan in South Carolina, which according to our latest installment of Diplomas Count (produced by the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center, which is affiliated with Education ...


ED in ’08, a multi-million dollar campaign aimed at focusing attention on education issues in the 2008 presidential election, gathered a group of highly regarded political reporters, commentators, and operatives last evening for a forum on education and the campaign at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College in Manchester. But little of the discussion centered around specific candidates and their education platforms. Instead, several commentators said education has largely remained a backburner issue in the campaign so far. Dan Balz, a national political correspondent for The Washington Post, suggested that this year’s big domestic issues ...


Over at Learning the Language, my colleague, Mary Ann Zehr, has a must-read about the presidential candidates' views on bilingual education. While all of the Democratic frontrunners said they supported bilingual education, only Republican Mitt Romney and the lesser-known Tom Tancredo responded in time to the survey Mary Ann featured in her post. They came out against bilingual education. While some may disagree with Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who supported a 2002 voter-approved initiative against bilingual education, at least he responded to the survey. And although his campaign's response was a little murky, he has staked out a clear ...


Getting young people interested in politics—and to the polls—is still a tough chore. But in this presidential race, and even in next year's governors' elections, the stakes couldn't be higher for the nation's youth, who will be affected by decisions made about education, the economy, and war. Enter Facebook. This hugely popular social networking site that draws millions of young people, who share thoughts, photos, and even trivia knowledge, is partnering with ABC News to bring its users political coverage. By adding the "U.S. Politics" application, Facebook users can track the political coverage and candidates through ABC News reporters,...


Check out this blog item at The Washington Post, which details Republican Mitt Romney's brief statement of support on Sunday for student testing as part of the federal No Child Left Behind Act. The former Massachusetts governor may not be taking the popular stance in defending standardized testing. But, he's clearly distinguishing himself in the pack of presidential candidates in both political parties who are routinely bashing the federal school accountability law....


There's a big fight brewing over merit pay in Oregon, where an anti-union activist is taking on the teachers' unions by campaigning for a 2008 ballot initiative that would link teacher raises to "classroom performance." Read more about that here. Voters in Oregon nixed a similar proposal when it was on the ballot in 2000. But it's eight years later, and merit pay has become a much bigger education reform topic and has spread to states like Texas and Minnesota. Merit pay is even being talked about on the presidential campaign trail. Read my earlier posts here and here. The ...


In Sen. Barack Obama's new education plan, his ideas for reforming the teaching profession are substantial, expensive, and have the potential to result in fairly dramatic changes in the teaching profession. I discussed this with one of my colleagues on the teacher beat here at Education Week, Bess Keller, who helped me navigate my way through the Illinois Democrat's detailed plan. Obama wants to get serious about recruiting by offering $25,000 "teaching service" scholarships to talented, high-performing teacher candidates who agree to teach in a high-need area or subject for at least four years. His $18 billion plan calls ...


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