In Ohio, election officials have levied their biggest fine ever—$5.2 million— against a school-choice lobbying group called All Children Matter. The group has been involved in numerous states across the country, and as the 2008 election season heats up in the states, it's one worth keeping your eye on. I've been following All Children Matter since it started running ads in 2004 in Indiana Statehouse races when I was a reporter for The Indianapolis Star. Though its purpose is to get school-choice-advocates into local and statewide office, the Michigan-based All Children Matter, which has its money-raising PAC in ...


If you want some insight into Sen. John McCain's education ideas, check out this Associated Press story, which mentions a key adviser to his campaign. Former Florida and fellow Republican Gov. Jeb Bush. McCain, who was campaigning in Florida with Bush's successor, Gov. Charlie Crist, said he's been seeking Bush's advice on education for the last couple of years, and would continue to do so if elected in November. Bush, who was a big supporter of school vouchers, standardized testing, and merit pay for teachers during his 1999-2007 term in office, has been working on beefing up his education legacy ...


Alexander Russo offers an interesting case study in Slate on a 1999 dispute over who hires and fires principals in Chicago—and what Sen. Barack Obama's actions mean for changes in education policy if he wins the presidency. Essentially, Russo paints a picture of an Obama who stood on the sidelines as then-Chicago Public Schools Superintendent Paul Vallas went to the Illinois Legislature in an effort to wrest more control over his principals from local school councils. The story quotes a Republican state legislator who said Obama wasn't really that bold, or creative, when it came to education. Russo writes: ...


Apparently even teachers' unions believe voters aren't really thinking about education this election cycle. The American Federation of Teachers is running a radio ad for its endorsed presidential candidate, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., in the primary battleground of Pennsylvania. The ad doesn't mention education or schools at all, although one of three voters featured in the ad is a teacher. The others are a "retired university professor" and a former Navy careerist. One voter says she's "worried we're falling into a recession" -- more evidence of how the economy has trumped education. Another says that the presumptive Republican ...


On this April Fool's Day, the Fordham Foundation has a particularly entertaining issue of its Education Gladfly. For those of us still wondering if the $60 million in foundation money from Gates and Broad will make any difference in the presidential election, the Fordham Folks have this to say... ...which is a parody of this real ad by ED in '08:...


Arizona Sen. John McCain, who until yesterday barely said boo about education, now has the solution to our education ills: Every child should be blessed with a teacher like I had, and to learn at institutions with high academic standards and codes of conduct that reinforce the values their parents try to impart to them. This snippet from a speech he gave today was set against the backdrop of Episcopal High School, (pictured above), a private boarding school in Alexandria, Va., where Sen. McCain got his diploma in 1954. (Photo credit: Episcopal High School web site). In his speech, Sen. ...


Perhaps John McCain is finally ready to start talking about education—on his own terms. In his big get-to-know-me speech as part of a nationwide biographical tour, the GOP nominee brought up education without being asked. And that's remarkable for a candidate who seems to talk about education only when he has to. In his speech in Meridian, Miss., McCain talks for a good while about government's role in children's lives, and says this about education: Government can't just throw money at public education while reinforcing the failures of many of our schools, but should, through choice and competition, by ...


While the next president will play a key role in figuring out the future of the No Child Left Behind Act, the membership (and leadership) of the two education committees in Congress - the House Education and Labor Committee and the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee - is also going to be very important to reauthorization. And it looks like there's going to be some interesting match-ups this year for voters concerned about education. In the House, just on the Democratic side, 28 members were elected to Congress this year by a margin of less than 55 percent, ...


There's something to be said for starting with a blank page. But the Department of Education is taking this to new levels and violating the spirit, or perhaps even the letter, of the federal Freedom of Information Act. This law is supposed to ensure that government business (which is funded by you, the taxpayer) is conducted out in the open. There are exceptions, of course, for things like national security and records on juveniles, for example. For background, read Kathleen Kennedy Manzo's recent story about her fruitless (so far) quest to get public information out of the Ed Department about ...


Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a daring guy who jumped out in support of John McCain when practically everyone else had counted the Senator out, is boosting his education creds. Pawlenty is the new chairman of the Denver-based Education Commission of the States. He follows Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, a Democrat. Pawlenty, who is also chairman of the National Governors Association, has been suggested as a VP pick for McCain, who could certainly use a running mate who believes education belongs on the national agenda....


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