On the same day we learned that voters in Utah decisively shot down the nation's first universal private-school voucher program, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney—who has significant ties to the state—reiterated today that he will promote school choice as part of his education agenda. So where was Romney during the voucher fight in Utah? He pretty much kept quiet, despite pleas from voucher advocates to lend his political capital to the fight. Perhaps he saw the polls, which consistently indicated vouchers as a losing issue in Utah. Or, maybe he was busy in early primary states, such as ...


Utah voters decisively and loudly spoke through the ballot box and repealed what would have been the nation's first universal voucher program, according to unofficial election results. When the legislature approved the law earlier this year, the margin was by a single vote. But the opposition in the general voting public was much stronger. With nearly 97 percent of the votes counted, 62 percent voted against vouchers, 38 percent voted for, during Utah's first "citizens' veto" statewide referendum in 30 years. This is a resounding victory for the law's biggest opponents: the teachers' unions, including the National Education Association, which ...


Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson, a Democrat and the only mayor in the country who has the authority to open and run charter schools, lost a tight re-election bid and has given the Hoosier State one of its biggest upsets in political history. And I'm not just saying that because I'm a native Hoosier. Peterson, a two-term mayor who was dubbed the "Peyton Manning of Charter Schools" in a recent article in Education Next, lost to Republican Greg Ballard for reasons that don't have a lot to do with education. Rising crime and rising property taxes relegated this once-popular mayor to ...


Republican Gov. Ernie Fletcher, whose campaign was mired in a hirings-and-firings ethics scandal from earlier in his administration, did not win re-election. With 90 percent of the votes counted, his opponent, former Attorney General Steve Beshear, unseated the incumbent and gave Democrats control of another governor's office. Beshear netted 59 percent of the vote to Fletcher's 41 percent. Beshear doesn't have anything earth-shattering on his education agenda—the ever-popular pre-kindergarten expansion, a pledge to raise teacher salaries, and a promise to provide more dual-enrollment opportunities so students can earn college credit while going to high school. This was a race ...


Voters in several states will make decisions today that will affect the quality of schools for years to come. The biggies: Vouchers—The polls don't look good for supporters of statewide, universal vouchers in Utah. Voters will consider whether or not to repeal a law approved earlier this year by the legislature that would give every student a voucher worth between $500 and $3,000, depending on income. Governors—Voters in Mississippi and Kentucky will elect their heads-of-state. Kentucky incumbent Gov. Ernie Fletcher, a Republican, is in danger of losing to Democrat Steve Beshear. In Mississippi, Republican Haley Barbour seems ...


Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson, who is big supporter of the National Rifle Association and an opponent of gun-control measures, came out on Sunday in favor of allowing law-abiding students to carry concealed weapons on college campuses, so long as they comply with campus and state rules. The issue came up on Meet the Press, when journalist Tim Russert asked the former Tennessee senator about allowing students to carry weapons in light of the shootings in April at Virginia Tech. He first told Russert: "I don’t think that all students need to be carrying weapons on the school campus." ...


Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings might be done influencing national education policy and the No Child Left Behind Act come January 2009, when President Bush leaves office. But that doesn't mean she'll be necessarily stepping out of the limelight, or leaving politics behind. A run for governor, or even U.S. Senator, in her home state of Texas may be in her future. This rumor has been floating around blogs for several weeks now, as people speculate where Spellings, a member of Bush's inner circle, will land once she leaves the federal government. Read more about what she may -- ...


Explaining war and politics to young children is hard. But here's how presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. Joseph Biden, a notoriously long-winded Democrat from Delaware, explained the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to a group of 4th graders who asked him about the issue today in New Hampshire, according to an Associated Press story: "Osama bin Laden set up camps there [in Afghanistan], and he was getting a lot of help from folks running that country called Afghanistan. And that's where he planned an attack on America to bring the World Trade Towers down and kill all those innocent ...


Voters in three states will elect members of their Statehouses on Tuesday, and the ramifacations will be felt nationwide, as a story in USA Today explains. Certainly, voters in those three states—New Jersey, Virginia, and Mississippi —should care, since state legislatures set school spending and often shape educational priorities. (Louisiana's Statehouse elections are later in November.) Check out Education Week's Election 2007 coverage here. But these legislative elections also will determine who draws new Congressional boundaries in those states after the 2010 Census, which greatly influences whether Democrats or Republicans get elected to Congress. And, given the national interest ...


The latest campaign finance numbers are in for Utah's voucher referendum, which is on the ballot Tuesday, and both sides so far have spent a total of more than $7 million. That's more than what Republican Gov. Jon Huntsman, Jr. spent in 2004 to win his last gubernatorial race, according to a story today in the Salt Lake Tribune. Not suprisingly, the National Education Association lived up to speculation that it would spend about $3 million on its campaign to defeat vouchers — making the NEA the biggest funding source for the anti-voucher movement. The referedum seeks to undo a law ...


Follow This Blog

Advertisement

Most Viewed on Education Week

Categories

Archives

Recent Comments