The Democrats are starting to flesh out their speaker line-up for the convention, which starts Monday night. Opening night will feature a tribute to No Child Left Behind architect Sen. Ted Kennedy, and will also feature prime-time speeches by the country's top two teachers' union leaders: Reg Weaver of the National Education Association (who turns over the helm to Dennis Van Roekel) and the American Federation of Teachers' Randi Weingarten. UPDATE: Over at EdWeek's new blog, Teacher Beat, read my colleague Vaishali Honawar's take on the merit pay debate in Denver, and how that ties into the convention....


With the Democratic convention days away, and the GOP confab immediately following, I wanted to let you all know that Education Week's Campaign K-12 will be on the ground in Denver and in St. Paul, bringing you first-hand coverage. We'll be writing stories for our print and online versions of EdWeek, blogging here (of course!), and even experimenting with Twitter. We'll be carrying around trendy backpacks, filled with the latest audio and video equipment (which we may or may not know how to use) as we strive to bring you not just stories, but the sights and sounds of the ...


Earlier this week, I blogged about the education angle of the Democrats' new platform. At the time, the Democratic National Committee didn't have a final, electronic version done so I could share it with you. Well, now it does. It's a 94-page document, but their main policy positions on education start on page 20....


"Inflation Hits Annual Pace Not Seen Since 1991," reads a headline from today's online New York Times. Though you don't have to be a Nobel Prize-winning economist to know the economy's in bad shape, this news just reaffirms that many school districts are in for a long, tough, budget-cutting road ahead of them. The fact that gas prices have skyrocketed is bad enough for school districts struggling to fuel their buses. But other costs are rising too—from food to health care, and even education supplies and books, according to the Consumer Price Index. But making matters worse is that ...


Although Barack Obama's campaign manager lauds the former Virginia governor for his work on the economy, edutypes will remember Mark Warner for his work on high school reform. Warner, who was governor from 2002-06, will deliver the keynote on Tuesday night of the convention. Campaign K-12 will be there to cover it. As the National Governors Association chairman from 2004-05, Warner made redesigning the American high school a priority for this group—traveling the country to participate in town hall meetings on the subject to jumpstart a national dialogue. In November 2004, he penned this commentary for EdWeek, writing: We ...


Minnesota Public Radio had a nearly hour-long conversation yesterday with education advisers for Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain, which you can listen to through the station's web site. Former Arizona schools' chief Lisa Graham Keegan for McCain and Steve Robinson, a former science teacher who joined Obama's staff in 2006, discuss teacher quality, No Child Left Behind, and federal K-12 funding. (There's an interesting, pointed exchange that begins around the 46th minute of the broadcast about school choice, and Obama's decision to send his daughters to private school in Chicago while he opposes voucher programs like the one ...


The party platform that Democrats adopted over the weekend in Pittsburgh borrows straight from the Barack Obama playbook, especially when it comes to education. The platform, which is meant to detail the party's policy positions (but is often forgotten soon after the convention), will be formally approved by delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Denver later this month. In writing this blog item, I'm working off the draft that was being considered by the platform committee. A spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee told me in an e-mail today that they don't have the final, electronic version of the ...


There have been a number of names floated around the edublogs as possible Secretary of Education under a potential Obama administration, including former Govs. Roy Romer of Colorado and Jim Hunt of North Carolina. Another name is Linda Darling-Hammond, who has been advising the Obama campaign. And some folks have also mentioned Andrew J. Rotherham, co-director of Education Sector. (I would miss his blog if he got the nod). But it's also possible that if he wins, Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, would look no farther than his own home state of Illinois - at Chicago public schools ...


USA Today editorial writer Richard Whitmire makes that case in an EdWeek commentary you can read here. The gist of Whitmire's piece? John McCain will do more to gut NCLB then will Barack Obama. What do you think? Flypaper thinks his idea isn't so far-fetched. This Week in Education thinks it's true. I'll weigh in on one minor point. Whitmire says that teachers' unions don't need to worry about McCain's support of school choice because vouchers are dead. "Period," he writes. While the idea of federally funded vouchers may be dead, for now, I do think it's too early to ...


From guest blogger Mary Ann Zehr. Ohio’s governor Ted Strickland accompanied presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama yesterday on a campaign visit to Austintown Fitch High School in Youngstown, Ohio. Though the two Democratic politicians didn't talk much about K-12 education, despite the setting, “we did talk about the cost of higher education,” the governor told me in a phone interview. But at Obama's town meeting at the high school, one member of the audience asked him why the federal government hasn’t become more involved in primary and secondary schools, the governor said. “He answered correctly,” in the ...


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