Inquiring minds in Ohio want to know: Is Obama open to vouchers, or isn't he? That's the gist of this letter the Ohio Federation of Teachers sent to Sen. Barack Obama's campaign this week after the Illinois Democrat recently told newspaper reporters in Milwaukee that he might reconsider his opposition to vouchers if there's research to back it up, and if vouchers are what's best for kids. The letter, signed by the OFT and the local unions representing teachers in Cleveland, Toledo, and Cincinnati, points out that Sen. Obama didn't seem nearly as open to vouchers in his responses to ...


Barack Obama dared to declare that he might be open to vouchers if there's evidence to back up this controversial education reform effort and, more importantly, if it's what's "best for kids." Imagine that—a presidential hopeful being in favor of a program if there's research to support it, and if it helps kids! Well, now the Obama campaign is in damage-control mode because vouchers are one of the most polarizing issues in education reform, and fiercely opposed by the teachers' unions. After all, the National Education Association's endorsement is still up for grabs. Obama's campaign sent Education Week this ...


My colleague, David Hoff, devotes a fair amount of space in Education Week to unearthing as much as he can about Sen. John McCain's views on education. It's becoming a more difficult task since the campaign office of the Republican frontrunner won't return phone calls. Not to Hoff. Not to me. Not to The Arizona Republic, which wanted to know his specific views on the No Child Left Behind Act. So, I think this quote from Hoff's story says it all: “I don’t think he has a strong track record of putting education at the top of his priorities,” ...


That's the question I started thinking about given the flap over Sen. Barack Obama's "plagiarism" of some lines from a speech of Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, a big-time Obama supporter. I'm in grad school now, and as a student, plagiarism (or the borrowing of another's work and claiming it as one's own) is strictly prohibited. Even unintentional plagiarism is grounds for course failure or even expulsion from school. Simply put, as a student, you're supposed to cite from where you get your information—even if you get "permission" from the original source, as Obama said he did. I suspect the ...


Got a minute? Take a spin through these campaign-related posts and tidbits from this week: The Hoff digs up some good information on John McCain. Perhaps I will have to change the the "Incomplete" grade I gave the Republican senator from Arizona. Joe Williams offers a thoughtful analysis of Obama's openness to school vouchers. Advocacy group Pre-K Now wants "Sam" to go to school, so they've launched a national campaign dubbed "No School for Sam" urging the presidential candidates to make universal pre-k a national priority. That's a far easier sell to Democrats than to Republicans. An Eduwonk guestblogger wants ...


Yesterday, I asked if Democrat Barack Obama would stand up to teachers' unions and embrace policies that they would oppose. Well, it seems he's doing just that. In an eyebrow-raising statement to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Illinois senator said he's a skeptic of vouchers, but that he might be open to them if studies show that's "what's best for kids." (UPDATE: Watch the video here.) The entire passage is worth repeating, since even an "openness" toward vouchers is a major departure for a Democratic presidential candidate:Obama said he has been a strong supporter of charter schools "as a ...


If you could grade the presidential candidates on their education platforms, what would you give them? Newsweek magazine did just that after getting the opinions of Education Sector's Thomas Toch and the Center for Education Reform's Jeanne Allen. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Republican, fares the worst, earning a D+ in part because Arkansas' academic benchmarks are "the pits," according to Toch. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, a Democrat, earns a B- despite "currying favor" with the teachers' unions (in Allen's words), although Toch predicts she may embrace the idea of merit pay for teachers if she ...


That's essentially the question The Politico asked of Democratic Sen. Barack Obama, in this interview posted last night. The question came about when the interviewer remarked that Republican frontrunner John McCain has often bucked his own party (on issues such as immigration) and has the battle scars to prove it. So, The Politico reporter asked, will Sen. Obama be willing to stand up to his own party? Obama says yes, and he offers education to prove his point. In the interview, the Illinois senator professes his support for charter schools and "looking at how we can reward excellence in the ...


Ex-Bushie and Fordham Foundation VP Michael Petrilli has made me feel a little bit better about Arizona Sen. John McCain's fast-track pace to the Republican nomination. To be sure, I'm not worried about a McCain nomination because of his politics, but from a pure education-blogging perspective. As Petrilli notes in his latest article for the National Review, McCain has "zero interest in education," which will make the jobs of edubloggers (and ED in '08) that much more difficult. However, Petrilli notes that perhaps McCain will delegate the job of education policy to an education secretary who actually has a flair ...


Can't get enough interesting tidbits on the presidential candidates? Then keep reading: The questions blogger Jim Horn would really like to ask in debates, at the Education Policy Blog. Baltimore Sun education reporter Sara Neufeld joins the long, long list of people lamenting the state of education in the campaign. And check out a couple of good posts on specific candidates. Update: Don't miss Mike Antonucci's post on Hillary Clinton's inconsistent stand on No Child Left Behind. On Sen. Barack Obama, Alexander Russo picks apart the Illinois Democrat's work in 1999 as a state senator on legislation regarding Chicago principal ...


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