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 ...


Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., released a detailed education plan in New Hampshire this morning. It’s long on detail when it comes to teacher pay, early childhood education, and expanding federal college outreach … but somewhat skimpy when it comes to what is arguably the biggest education question in Congress these days: how states should be held accountable for student progress under a reauthorized No Child Left Behind Act. Obama said he wants to “reform” the law and repeats perennial Democratic criticisms about a lack of adequate funding by the Bush administration. His most interesting proposal calls for helping states expand ...


One of the few issues in education that divides Democratic front-runners Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in this presidential campaign is merit pay. Yesterday, Sen. Clinton criticized the idea during a campaign stop at an Iowa elementary school. While the senator from New York said she supports the less controversial idea of incentives for teachers who work in high-need areas, Clinton, who won the endorsement of the American Federation of Teachers in October, denounced the idea of merit pay as "demeaning and discouraging." (However, she does like the idea of school uniforms for students.) Teachers' unions usually fiercely oppose the ...


School choice has continued to be a hot political topic over the last several months, especially with the referendum that failed miserably in Utah that would have created the country's first universal voucher program. Often, supporters of vouchers and other school choice options talk about how such efforts could help level the playing field between poorer parents, who may not be able to afford to move out of a failing school district, and wealthier parents, who have greater means to do so. U.S. Sen. Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut exercised school choice of a different kind today, according to ...


One of his spokesmen seems to think so. Check out this story about Rhode Island Gov. Donald L. Carcieri in the Providence Journal. (You have to scroll down about half-way through this story to get to the Carcieri education secretary nugget.) The Republican governor's communications director told a local talk-radio audience earlier this month that if former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney wins the presidency, there's talk that Carcieri will be tapped as his secretary of education. From the way the article reads, however, Carcieri is by no means a shoe-in for the post. After all, even though campaign season is ...


Illinois Sen. Barack Obama has a new televsion ad up in New Hampshire that focuses on education, sprinkled with some parenting advice. (Over at the Democrats for Education Reform blog, Joe Williams writes that Obama, a Democratic presidential contender, is the first candidate in the race to hit television airwaves with an education-focused ad.) The ad starts by getting personal, as Obama talks about his childhood—that his parents weren't rich, his Dad left when he was very young, but that he still managed to get a good education. He briefly touts his plan for expanding early childhood education and ...


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