Paul Vallas' long-rumored departure from Philly may result in him heading to New Orleans, where the current supe is rumored to be leaving and the state is looking for a new look for its reinvention of the NOLA school system. There are lots of Chicago folks involved in New Orleans already, especially on the charter side. Vallas to step down as Phila. schools chief Daily Southtown, VALLAS GOIN' SOUTH?Philadelphia Daily News, Smiles for his academic gains; frustration in finances, violence Phila Enquirer, Vallas coming home Chicago Tribune...

Usefulness of education research questioned USAT More than five years after President Bush's No Child Left Behind law told educators to rely on "scientifically based" methods, the science produced is often inconclusive, politically charged or less than useful for classroom teachers. Student Loan Giant Sallie Mae Settles in NY Conflict-of-Interest Probe WaPo In a settlement with the New York state attorney general, the Reston-based lending behemoth said it would no longer pay travel and entertainment fees for university officials, send its staff to work for free in financial aid offices or operate call centers where company employees provide financial advice ...

The good folks over at the AFT blog make a valiant effort to turn the story of a petty thief who tried to get away in a school bus into something more ominous about outsourcing and the private sector, but it's mostly just a funny/sad story: AFT NCLBlog. And it's not like traditional (direct) hiring has prevented schools from hiring thieves, pedophiles, and all the rest, anyway, right?...

Some recommendations for additional or alternative witnesses at next week's RF hearing include Reid Lyon, Margaret Spellings and Susan Neuman, as well as state officials who were pressured by the Department, and providers like Success for All, Cupp Publishers, and Reading Recovery who were left out, according to edbizbuzz (here)....

These two roundups of GOP candidates' views on education show, generally, that education isn't on anyone's front burner just yet: Most GOP Education Activists Still Sizing Up Field EdWeek Republican experts on education issues are largely uncommitted at this early stage. Some state policymakers have begun advising one of the candidates, but most are waiting to see the ideas the current candidates put forth or who else gets into the race. Presidential Candidates on Education: The Republicans The Huffington Post A look at statements from the campaign websites of Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, Mitt Romney, and Sam Brownback. Wake me ...


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