Former U.S. Sen. John Edwards wasn't the only Democratic presidential candidate talking about schools today. In New Hampshire at Manchester High School West, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson unveiled his education plan. He wants to get rid of the No Child Left Behind Act (as he has noted regularly on the stump), bring full-day prekindergarten to all 4-year-olds, and pay teachers an average starting salary of $40,000. He dips his toe into the national standards debate by proposing a committee that would develop voluntary national standards. In his speech today, he also tsk-tsked Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of ...


Although much of education reform talk focuses on large, urban school districts, let's not forget that 20 percent of U.S. students go to smaller, rural schools, which have their own academic achievement issues, according to the Rural School and Community Trust. The presidential candidates, who are campaigning in the rural and early-voting states of Iowa and South Carolina, are mindful of this. Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards, a former U.S. Senator from North Carolina, today unveiled his plan to help rural schools. Among his ideas is to create a National Teacher University to attract those who will teach ...


I'm on assignment in Utah, which is in the middle of a fierce campaign over school vouchers. On Nov. 6, voters will decide whether the country's first universal voucher program will stay on the books or be defeated. The program would give a voucher to every public school student, valued at between $500 and $3,000, for use at a private school. The bill narrowly passed the Utah legislature this year, was signed by Gov. Jon Hunstman, Jr., a Republican, but then opponents were able to gather enough signatures to put the measure up for a "citizens' veto" vote next ...


Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico, so far the only major Democratic candidate to call for completely scrapping the No Child Left Behind law, will remain in the race for his party’s presidential nomination. There was some speculation that Richardson might drop his presidential bid to run for the Senate seat in New Mexico being vacated by Sen. Pete V. Domenici, who announced he will retire at the end of his term in January for health reasons. Some say Richardson would be the ideal candidate for the Democrats to pick up the Senate seat. But Richardson says he’d ...


Democratic U.S. Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware becomes the latest presidential candidate to unveil his education plan. The gist of his proposal, unveiled in Iowa, is that he wants to turn the country's traditional K-12 public education system into more of a 16-year pathway—with two years of high-quality preschool available to parents and at least a two-year, affordable college experience available to high school graduates. He also wants to fund the hiring of 100,000 more teachers to reduce class sizes, and give bonuses to teachers who teach in high-need schools or who agree to stay in the ...


The American Federation of Teachers becomes the latest big-labor group to endorse Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., for president. Read the Associated Press story here. But it took the union two tries before getting its endorsement announcement right. The first press release arrived in EdWeek's inbox a little before noon, and it focused on the AFT's decision, with a lot of "thank you" quotes from Sen. Clinton. About 30 minutes later, a corrected version of the endorsement announcement was sent out, with more comments from Sen. Clinton about policy positions, such as that she'll work to protect collective bargaining ...


Former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson, who has been critical of the No Child Left Behind Act in the past, this week reiterated his disapproval of the federal education law -- which, by the way, he voted for when it passed Congress in 2001. During a presidential campaign stop in Iowa on Tuesday, the Republican told potential voters that he voted for NCLB in a "triumph of hope," according to a story that appeared Wednesday in the Quad-City Times, even though "experience" may have suggested he should vote against the bill. So what would he do to change the law if ...


If you haven't read Sara Mead's piece in The American Prospect on education in the presidential race, it's definitely worth a look. It's pro-John Edwards, but Mead, a senior research fellow at the New America Foundation, also uses the forum to highlight shortcomings among other Democratic frontrunners. On New York's Sen. Hillary Clinton: "As the Democratic frontrunner, Hillary Clinton has little incentive to engage on controversial K-12 education issues..." And, on Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, she points out that in a July speech to the National Education Association, he promised to roll out a comprehensive teacher-quality initiative...for which ...


The biggest showdown over any children’s issue this year in Congress will undoubtedly be over health care, and specifically, the state and federally funded program for low-income children called SCHIP. Any teacher or school official can tell you that children's health--from the treatment of acute illness to the management of chronic diseases such as asthma and diabetes--can have a direct effect on their ability to learn. Last week, the House and Senate approved expanding SCHIP to cover an additional 4 million low-income kids, at a pricetag of $35 billion over 5 years (courtesy of a hike in the cigarette ...


There are big problems in education. The achievement gap. High dropout rates. Struggling urban schools. But this week, some presidential candidates are sniping about something that will do little to address any of those issues: whether the issue of same-sex marriage belongs in an elementary school classroom. Republican Mitt Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts (where same-sex marriage is legal), lashed out at the Democratic candidates for their answers to a question during a debate on Wednesday night in New Hampshire sponsored on MSNBC. They were asked if they would approve of a teacher reading a story to 2nd graders ...


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