William Ayers, the 1960s radical about whom Sen. Barack Obama was questioned at this week's Democratic presidential debate, is widely known in the field of education as a professor, commentator, and advocate for small schools and student rights. Of course, Ayers doesn't exactly hide his past as a former member of the Weather Underground and someone who has acknowledged a role in, and has refused to apologize for, bombings the group carried out at the Pentagon, the U.S. Capitol, and the Department of State. The debate exchange is here. The New York Times notes here what is behind the ...


Richard Simmons!...


In case you missed Wednesday's Democratic debate in Pennsylvania ... well, you didn't miss much. The candidates very much like teachers, and still hate the No Child Left Behind Act. And here are a couple of other good reads from this week: USA Today's Richard Whitmire implies in a Politico piece that there is hope for us all... in that Sen. John McCain may make education a near-top tier issue. My colleague David Hoff visited Pennsylvania for a pre-primary story that shows how voters can curse their way onto the American Federation of Teachers' "Do Not Contact" list. And over at ...


It's very important, if you look at the lively comments being posted to a blog item that I wrote earlier this week in response to a Barack Obama speech. However, some of the commenters also pointed out that it's important not to overlook bad teachers. And one writer took exception to Obama's tone. Check out the dialogue going on, and please weigh in!...


John McCain delivered an important speech today on what he will do to fix the ailing economy. Although he didn't talk much the role of education, in a five-point plan he released today to accompany his speech, he identified education as central to making American workers more competitive And that's to his credit. (ED in '08 must be thrilled!) But again, McCain seems to think school choice is the answer to improving education. School choice may work to improve student performance and schools but I'm not sure even the most ardent school choice supporters (who should correct me if I'm ...


In Delaware, which has a hotly contested race for governor, funding public schools is becoming a big issue as the state faces a $250 million budget deficit. And in Chicago, a new report says Latinos are particularly concerned about the issue, especially since they face long lines for prekindergarten programs in their neighborhoods and persistently high dropout rates....


Democratic frontrunner Barack Obama, who has sent a strong message to families before about the importance of being a good parent, is continuing to expand that message. According to this Associated Press story, Obama tells crowds that parents must set a curfew, make sure their children do their homework, meet with their kids' teachers, and set a good example. This must be music to teachers' ears. He said: And the last thing is, if your child is misbehaving at school don't curse out the teacher. You know who you are. It's not the teacher's fault that your child is misbehaving. ...


Earlier we noted that a number of Democrats who barely squeaked into Congress in the 2006 election (with under 55 percent of the vote, according to the University of Virginia's Center for Politics) are on the House Education and Labor Committee. Only three incumbent Republicans retained their seats with a similar vote proportion. One is Rep. Ric Keller of Florida, who is the ranking member on the House subcommittee overseeing higher education and a long-time advocate for increasing federal Pell Grants for low-income students. Another is Rep. Mark Souder of Indiana, a member of the conservative Republican Study Committee, a ...


So, according to this New York Times story, Democratic super-delegates, as well as regular voters, are getting pressured into voting for Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. (and in some cases, rival Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y.) by their kids. And apparently supporters are going after the Sponge Bob vote, via Web sites such as Yrmomma4obama, which includes pro-Obama text messages kids can send their parents (in English and Spanish!) The Yrmomma4obama Web site includes a list of reasons why kids should encourage their parents to vote for Obama ... none of which mention education. Obama's own campaign Web site has a section ...


The presidential campaign of Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., may have put some officials at a New York City high school in a sticky situation, after filming students doing their own version of the candidate's "Yes We Can" speech as part of a class project. The campaign sent the video out as part of an e-mail to potential donors and posted it on Obama's campaign Web site. That's apparently a violation of the New York City school system's regulations, which prohibit filming in school buildings for political purposes, according to the Daily News account. But Mark Sweeting, the principal of the ...


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