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 ...


While most people are keenly aware of the 2008 presidential race, there’s also a spirited race for governor in Kentucky that’s been pretty negative—with some of the harshest criticism involving religion in schools. Former Kentucky Attorney General Steve Beshear, a Democrat, is facing incumbent Republican Ernie Fletcher, who is trying to hang onto his seat after a political-hirings-and-firings scandal that mired his first term. The two are in a tight race for the Nov. 6 election, with polls showing Fletcher may be trailing. Beshear is taking a political beating for issuing an opinion as Attorney General—26 ...


Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards may be putting the cart before the horse -- or, in education lingo -- the preschooler before the kindergartner. While his education plan unveiled last week focuses on reforming the No Child Left Behind Act, giving incentive pay to teachers in high-poverty schools, and bringing federally funded preschool to more 4-year-olds, his proposal didn't address whether 5-year-olds should spend all day in kindergarten. The Reno Gazette-Journal in Nevada took note of this and asked Edwards in a telephone interview about whether he supported full-day kindergarten. His response was perplexing: "Let me think about that," Edwards ...


South Carolina's poor, rural schools are getting attention from the Presidential hopefuls again. Democratic U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York makes her ad debut in South Carolina today, with a heavy focus on education. She continues her campaign mantra that middle- and lower-income families will not be "invisible" if she is elected president. Clinton hits on South Carolina's so-called "Corridor of Shame" --a stretch of low-performing, rural schools along Interstate 95. The struggle of these schools was chronicled in a 58-minute documentary, called "Corridor of Shame: The Neglect of South Carolina's Rural Schools," made in 2005. Clinton ...


John Edwards is unveiling his education platform today in DesMoines, Iowa. He promises to build a universal preK program, to improve the quality of teachers, and to rewrite the No Child Left Behind Act. To replace what his campaign calls NCLB's "unproven cookie-cutter solutions," the former U.S. senator from North Carolina would model attempts to fix failing schools on a current program in his home state. He would create a School Success Fund that would assign experienced educators to help distressed schools improve. He also would try to increase the pool of successful schools, either by expanding existing ones ...


That’s the mantra of Reg Weaver, the president of the National Education Association, who didn’t want to talk about how much money his national teachers’ union was going to give to its Utah affiliate, which is in a fierce ballot fight to get the country’s first universal voucher law off the books in Utah. This statewide referendum will be one of the most interesting education elections to watch on Nov. 6. Last week, I asked him six different ways how much the NEA will spend to defeat vouchers. Weaver refused to bite, insisting that the real issue ...


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