During his short-lived campaign for president, Democrat Joe Biden said education would be his top domestic priority. But it's clear that Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois didn't pick Biden as his vice-presidential pick because of domestic issues, but because of his foreign relations credentials. So as David Hoff and I begin our coverage of the convention here in Denver, we're not expecting Biden's speech from the podium of the Pepsi Center on Wednesday night to be a showstopper on education reform. However, it's worth remembering what Biden said on education issues while he campaigned for the No. 1 job. On ...


This EdWeek story does a great job summarizing the new Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll on the the public's attitudes toward public schools.


View Larger Map The country's two largest teachers' unions will be well represented at the Democratic Convention next week. The American Federation of Teachers will have 135 delegates in attendance. The National Education Association will be sending more than 200 delegates—including 22 superdelegates. Their biggest delegation is from Alabama, with 22 members, followed by North Carolina, with 15. But the delegate making the farthest trek comes from Wasilla, Alaska, near Anchorage. That's 3,180 miles from Denver—according to the Google map I included above....


The Democrats are starting to flesh out their speaker line-up for the convention, which starts Monday night. Opening night will feature a tribute to No Child Left Behind architect Sen. Ted Kennedy, and will also feature prime-time speeches by the country's top two teachers' union leaders: Reg Weaver of the National Education Association (who turns over the helm to Dennis Van Roekel) and the American Federation of Teachers' Randi Weingarten. UPDATE: Over at EdWeek's new blog, Teacher Beat, read my colleague Vaishali Honawar's take on the merit pay debate in Denver, and how that ties into the convention....


With the Democratic convention days away, and the GOP confab immediately following, I wanted to let you all know that Education Week's Campaign K-12 will be on the ground in Denver and in St. Paul, bringing you first-hand coverage. We'll be writing stories for our print and online versions of EdWeek, blogging here (of course!), and even experimenting with Twitter. We'll be carrying around trendy backpacks, filled with the latest audio and video equipment (which we may or may not know how to use) as we strive to bring you not just stories, but the sights and sounds of the ...


Earlier this week, I blogged about the education angle of the Democrats' new platform. At the time, the Democratic National Committee didn't have a final, electronic version done so I could share it with you. Well, now it does. It's a 94-page document, but their main policy positions on education start on page 20....


"Inflation Hits Annual Pace Not Seen Since 1991," reads a headline from today's online New York Times. Though you don't have to be a Nobel Prize-winning economist to know the economy's in bad shape, this news just reaffirms that many school districts are in for a long, tough, budget-cutting road ahead of them. The fact that gas prices have skyrocketed is bad enough for school districts struggling to fuel their buses. But other costs are rising too—from food to health care, and even education supplies and books, according to the Consumer Price Index. But making matters worse is that ...


Although Barack Obama's campaign manager lauds the former Virginia governor for his work on the economy, edutypes will remember Mark Warner for his work on high school reform. Warner, who was governor from 2002-06, will deliver the keynote on Tuesday night of the convention. Campaign K-12 will be there to cover it. As the National Governors Association chairman from 2004-05, Warner made redesigning the American high school a priority for this group—traveling the country to participate in town hall meetings on the subject to jumpstart a national dialogue. In November 2004, he penned this commentary for EdWeek, writing: We ...


Minnesota Public Radio had a nearly hour-long conversation yesterday with education advisers for Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain, which you can listen to through the station's web site. Former Arizona schools' chief Lisa Graham Keegan for McCain and Steve Robinson, a former science teacher who joined Obama's staff in 2006, discuss teacher quality, No Child Left Behind, and federal K-12 funding. (There's an interesting, pointed exchange that begins around the 46th minute of the broadcast about school choice, and Obama's decision to send his daughters to private school in Chicago while he opposes voucher programs like the one ...


The party platform that Democrats adopted over the weekend in Pittsburgh borrows straight from the Barack Obama playbook, especially when it comes to education. The platform, which is meant to detail the party's policy positions (but is often forgotten soon after the convention), will be formally approved by delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Denver later this month. In writing this blog item, I'm working off the draft that was being considered by the platform committee. A spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee told me in an e-mail today that they don't have the final, electronic version of the ...


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