Education historian Diane Ravitch proposes a radical overhaul of NCLB in today's New York Times (Get Congress Out of the Classroom). She points out all the usual flaws in the law, and, as in the past, she proposes that the feds collect and report out data (including the results of national testing), and the states and districts take back the whole school reform thing. However, Ravitch overstates NCLB's reach into the process by quite a bit. Districts and schools aren't actually doing what the current NCLB tells them to do with struggling schools, finding loopholes and complying nominally without making ...

Earlier in the week, the Washington Post's Jay Mathews used what must have been hypnosis to get three DC-area school superintendents to say that they supported national standards -- an idea that, as Mathews himself notes, has traditionally only been advocated by wonks and pundits (Superintendents Suggest Fixes For 'No Child'). What kind of hell do you think those three superintendents are going to get when the Mathews spell wears off and their colleagues read what they've said? Note also that one of the superintendents represents Fairfax, VA -- the folks who didn't want to test their ELL kids in ...

One Oak Park Illinois school's "hugging ban" has captured the media spotlight, for however briefly. Maybe this is a new part of Ed In '08's strategy to win more attention for education issues. And it's working. (You know they convinced Kozol to do that partial fast thing.) Or maybe it's just a slow news week and schools are easy targets. Check here to see 200-something stories published on the topic. Not known for accuracy, many of the media stories miss the fact that the hugs being banned are big group hugs not the usual greeting kind....

Get Congress Out of the Classroom NYT (Diane Ravitch) Unless we set realistic goals for our schools and adopt realistic means of achieving them, we run the risk of seriously damaging public education. Schools Embrace Ways to Help Environment AP Jacob Chapman hopes to plant a rooftop garden at Olathe South High School, encourages classmates to recycle plastic bottles and paper, and wants them to reduce their use of disposables in the school cafeteria. Superintendents Content in Jobs, But Stressed, Too EdWeek Today’s school district leaders overwhelmingly have positive relationships with their school boards, tend to be satisfied in ...

Education issues are nowheresville, writes New America's Sara Mead (here). And that is unlikely to change. But at least Edwards' plan doesn't eviscerate NCLB, says Mead. And at least he has one. Most of the others -- except Dodd -- don't have any real K-12 education proposal (beyond bashing the current law). And they probably won't show up with one anytime soon, despite past promises. Why get into that mess when college costs and universal preschool are so much more fun -- and only 1 percent of Americans rank education as their top priority?...


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