This seems to be a recurring theme on our blog this week. Today the forum was the New America Foundation, a Washington-based think tank and the advisers were the Ubiquitous Lisa Graham Keegan, a former Arizona schools chief, appearing on behalf of Sen. John McCain's campaign, and Jon Schnur, who heads up New Leaders for New Schools and is informally advising the Sen. Barack Obama's campaign (along with just about every other Education Dem). Neither covered much new territory on K-12 education, and neither one seemed eager to address the 800- pound gorilla in the room: No Child Left Behind. ...


Sen. John McCain will be filling in the blanks in his education plan in a "little bit" with proposals on prekindergarten, college access and affordability, and special education, top education adviser Lisa Graham Keegan told the National Conference of State Legislators today in New Orleans. While my colleague was covering an Obama event, I'm was here in the Big Easy listening to a forum on the education ideas of the presidential candidates, starring Keegan and Linda Darling-Hammond (on behalf of Obama). There was very little that hasn't been said before, either by the candidates themselves, or their advisers. But I'll ...


From guest blogger David J. Hoff: Michael Johnston, one of Sen. Barack Obama's many education advisers, met with several journalists today to discuss the Illinois senator's agenda for schools. Johnston summed up the Democratic presidential candidate's platform in one word: "comprehensive." It would have $10 billion for new pre-K initiatives and add $8 billion for K-12 programs, particularly for recruiting, retaining, and rewarding teachers. It also would improve college affordability and access. As for the No Child Left Behind Act, Johnston repeated what Obama has said he likes and dislikes about the law. High standards and accountability are good. The ...


The National Conference of State Legislatures, which is meeting in New Orleans this week, has added a word to describe the No Child Left Behind Act, further showing how the group feels about the federal accountability law. "Coercive." The official NCSL policy on the federal role in elementary and secondary education, amended this morning to include that word, now urges Congress to adopt incentive-based programs versus the "coercive, punitive system at the heart of NCLB." That amendment this morning came from South Dakota state Sen. Ed Olson, a Republican, who was sticking up for his friends in Utah, who unsuccessfully ...


So there have been a number of events, both inside and outside the Beltway, that have given the education advisers for both presidential candidates a chance to square off. And I couldn't help but notice that Sen. John McCain's camp pretty much always sends Lisa Graham Keegan, while Sen. Barack Obama's campaign has called on a number of different folks to appear. For instance, my fellow blogger, Michele McNeil, is going to the National Conference of State Legislatures annual meeting in New Orleans this week, where Keegan, a former Arizona schools chief, will speak for McCain, while Stanford education professor ...


Presumptive Republican nominee Sen. John McCain of Arizona met this weekend with Joel Klein, the chancellor of the New York City school system, a Broad Prize winner, and a former Clinton administration official. The two discussed "education reform." I wish I could give you more details than that ... but there aren't any available. McCain and Klein held "a closed-door meeting," according to this New York Post story. Apparently they discussed "education reform." Thanks for the specifics on that one, senator! I'd say this was a missed opportunity for McCain to get a photo, if nothing else, of himself talking to ...


After reading fellow blogger Alyson Klein's comprehensive story on John McCain's education plan, check out these reactions to his speech from around the blogsphere, a list that keeps growing: New reactions (added today) At first, the Cato Institute's bloggers were enthusiastic, and then, not so much. Flypaper doesn't like the reaction of The Quick and the Ed's Kevin Carey. Thomas Toch over at The Quick and the Ed says McCain's education advisers weren't "on the ball" because the senator didn't acknowledge that many of the teacher reform ideas are going on already in Cincinnati, where he delivered the speech. My ...


No Child Left Behind. Apparently, the McCain camp has decided talking about NCLB is not good. During his speech to the NAACP, the Arizona senator made no mention of the law that will have to be re-authorized during his presidency if he's elected. And during a conference call yesterday following his speech, four of his advisers were asked why the presumptive GOP nominee didn't mention NCLB. Those advisers spent 3 1/2 minutes answering this question about NCLB by—again—not uttering those four words. Instead, education adviser Lisa Graham Keegan talked about how teacher quality and data are McCain's ...


Sen. John McCain, who just months ago didn't even list "education" on his list of issues on his web site, has finally unveiled his education plan. In a speech today to the NAACP in Cincinnati, he hit on three big themes: school choice, technology, and teacher quality. (Read the transcript here). My colleague Alyson Klein will weigh in more later, but I wanted to pass along highlights of his plan: On school choice—He wants to expand the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program from $13 million to $20 million, and allocate $500 million in existing federal funds to build new ...


(Update: Read John McCain's education plan here.) Sen. John McCain, whose speech in Cincinnati to the NAACP will be covered by EdWeek's Alyson Klein, is expected to emphasize school choice and scholarship programs for students in low-income, poor-performing school districts. The presumptive GOP nominee is also expected to support alternative certification routes for teachers, more tutoring for poor students, and merit-pay programs for teachers. For more about Sen. Barack Obama's speech yesterday to the NAACP, read Alyson's story here, and her blog entry here....


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