January 2008 Archives

This is not good news for Democrat Hillary Clinton, who is in a Super Tuesday dogfight with Barack Obama....


The field is narrowing. John Edwards, the former senator from North Carolina, and former New York City mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani are expected to drop out of the presidential contest today. Edwards had, arguably, been the most critical of NCLB of the three Democrats left, even suggesting at one point that lawmakers might want to consider "ditching" the law, a six-year-old reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. His rivals, Sens. Hillary Clinton of New York, and Barack Obama of Illinois, both advocate for “fixing” the measure, but neither has suggested scrapping it entirely. UPDATE: Read the remarks John ...


That's essentially the question that is asked of six students—two each from the United States, India, and China—in the "2 Million Minutes" documentary that was screened last night at the Jack Valenti Theater in Washington and that I previewed here. The ED in '08 folks, who are partnering with the production company Broken Pencil Productions to market the film, were kind enough to invite me. Dozens of policy wonks attended, representing the U.S. Department of Education, the Council of Chief State School Officers, and Strong American Schools, which is directing the ED in '08 campaign. The hour-long ...


Not long after the 1998 school shootings at Jonesboro Middle School in Arkansas, which left three students and a teacher dead in what was then one of the worst acts of school violence in the country, then-Gov. Mike Huckabee signed a book deal for "Kids Who Kill," published that same year by B&H Publishing Group. The book deal sparked criticism, fury, and resentment from families and other community members affected by the tragedy who claimed the governor was profiting from the violence. Ten years later, as Huckabee campaigns for the Republican presidential nomination, the hard feelings haven't disappeared....


During President Bush's State of the Union, he touted a re-packaged $300 million "Pell Grants for Kids" program that would essentially give scholarships or vouchers to help low-income students trapped in failing schools. And he again touted the No Child Left Behind Act, which will become—for better or for worse—his education legacy. Yet the Democratic candidates' official responses didn't touch the subject of education. In his official response, Sen. Barack Obama didn't address education. Neither did Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York or former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards. And even Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, who isn't in ...


After months of remaining neutral in the race for the Democratic nomination, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, has endorsed Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., for president. But, although Obama sits on the senate education panel, Kennedy didn’t mention reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Law in his endorsement speech today at American University in Washington. He gave only a quick nod to education – praising Obama for “fashioning legislation to put high quality teachers in our classrooms" - an apparent reference to Obama's bill to establish "teacher residencies", which ...


A whopping $40 million. That's how much the National Education Association is prepared to spend in this crucial 2008 election year. Read more about that in EdWeek's latest political story, by my colleague David Hoff. That money still isn't devoted to a specific candidate, and as Joe Williams of Democrats for Education Reform wisely notes in the story, the NEA is likely waiting to back a candidate who is sure to win the nomination. The American Federation of Teachers, meanwhile, has put its money on Hillary Clinton. The $40 million committment from NEA is almost as much as Bill Gates ...


Voters with education on their minds aren't concerned just about math and science—key areas of focus for politicians and policymakers—but with imaginination, innovation, and the arts as well. That's according to a new poll, backed by education groups including the nation's largest teachers' union, the National Education Association, and (not surprising, given the results and subject of the poll) the Arts Education Partnership. The poll seems tailor-made for Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, whose education agenda centers on advancing the arts in schools—what he calls "weapons of mass instruction." In fact, 56 percent of those polled said ...


Usually, politicians don't run for office for the money. Elected officials are often highly accomplished people who could make much more working in the private sector. Of course, there are other perks to elected office—power, name recognition, and those warm fuzzy feelings about helping your country. And a new policy brief by Indiana University's Center for Evaluation and Education Policy confirms the same is true for elected versus appointed state schools chiefs. The conclusion: Being elected will not make you wealthy. Elected state education superintendents make far less than their appointed counterparts in other states. The highest-paid superintendent is ...


YouTube has become a powerful communication tool for politicians who want to bypass the mainstream media and appeal directly to voters. Now Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt, a first-term Republican who championed school choice and had controversial ties to a pro-voucher PAC called All Children Matter, has put a new spin on use of the technology. Blunt, who was facing a tough re-election battle, stunned his state by dropping out of the governor's race—announcing it on YouTube....


Former Tennesse Sen. Republican Fred Thompson, who said he regretted his "yes" vote on the No Child Left Behind act, has called it quits today. The "Law & Order" television star championed school choice, but never got truly engaged in any debates over education. Among the folks sure to be disappointed by his departure from the 2008 campaign: Republican social studies teachers, who in a mock primary, picked Thompson as their favorite to square off against the Democratic teachers' choice, U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York....


I was in South Carolina over the weekend, and got to experience life in a presidential primary state. Since I was visiting family, I was confined to watching the political developments as most voters do—through television and the newspapers. However, I attended part of a Martin Luther King Jr. Day rally at the South Carolina Statehouse on Monday, where ministers and activists with the NAACP addressed a crowd of thousands before the three Democratic presidential frontrunners spoke. And it was here when it struck me: this is a state where education could be an issue that drives votes, especially ...


Dave Riegel, an Ohio school administrator, has an interesting interview with ED in '08's Roy Romer. Take a look, because you probably won't be reading any interviews between me and Mr. Romer anytime soon. I had one scheduled awhile back, but the ED in '08 folks cancelled, citing a couple of posts (here and here) that I wrote. And while you're at it, take a spin through ohdave's other thoughtful entries as well....


...when you make the Carnival. This edition of the Carnival, courtesy of eduwonkette, features three other noteworthy campaign-related posts, including one by an 18-year-old who explains why so many youth dig Obama....


During Tuesday's Democratic debate in Las Vegas, sponsored by MSNBC, the three front-runners were asked a very serious question about education. To what do you attribute the high dropout rate among African-American students, and what would you do about it? The question went to Illinois Sen. Barack Obama first, but eventually, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards answered it, too. Their proposed solutions were similar, and complementary: universal prekindergarten, after-school programs, "second-chance" schools for dropouts, promoting fatherhood, etc. But did you notice something in common about their answers? In response to a question about kids ...


The day Republican Mitt Romney seemed to catch fire by winning the Michigan primary, the National Science Board released a report that resulted in this New York Times headline: "Global Advances Challenge U.S. Dominance in Science." Dig deep into the report, released by the governing board of the National Science Foundation, and you'll find that student performance in math and science is both encouraging and depressing, while one big (and not surprising) problem persists: An achievement gap between minority and nonminority students in those two subjects doesn't improve as they progress through school, and in some cases, gets worse. ...


When you're done reviewing Mitt Romney's victory last night in Michigan from the likes of The Washington Post, Google News, or your favorite blog, you should turn to one more authority on this presidential race: kids. Education publishing company Scholastic has deployed its "Kid Reporters" to write, photograph, and blog about the 2008 presidential campaign. You can read what they have to say about the Michigan primary here. You also can read 12-year-old Elizabeth Conway's review of Republican Mike Huckabee's "Huckaburger." (She notes that "a deep-fried pickle—a specialty of Arkansas—may have offset the nutritional value of the vegetables.") ...


The Nevada affiliate of the National Education Association is obviously feeling some heat for its decision to file suit to protest new at-large precincts at casinos on the Las Vegas Strip that will make it easier for workers to vote during Saturday's caucus. The Nevada State Teachers Association is defending itself on its Web site, maintaining that their suit isn't about drowning out the voice of the state's largest union, which represents culinary and other workers in the casinos (and happens to be endorsing Illinois Sen. Barack Obama.) Instead, the lawsuit complains of inequalities—that teachers are not afforded the ...


Yes, this presidential election is very important to the future of public schools. And yes, the campaign is shaping up to be a fascinating barn-burner. But as I've been scanning headlines from across the country, I've been reminded that the nuts-and-bolts of running schools—from how many teachers a school can afford to hire to what kind of after-school programs a district can offer—are determined by state and local politicians, many of whom will be elected or re-elected this year. Headlines from major newspapers across the country—just from the last week—foreshadow daunting budget tasks that politicians will ...


The teachers' unions are very busy in Nevada, which will host a presidential primary on Jan. 19. But the political strategies of the two powerful, rival unions — the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association — are very different. To make sure their teachers are heard, one union has filed a lawsuit seeking to drown out another union's voice, while the other teachers' union is using the grassroots method. The Nevada State Teachers Association, an affiliate of the NEA, is suing the state Democratic Party for making it easier for culinary workers in the Las Vegas casinos to vote. ...


When is getting an education endorsement not a good thing? When you're a Republican, and you get the approval of a state affiliate of the National Education Association. About a month ago, my colleague and Campaign K-12 contributor Alyson Klein wondered whether Mike Huckabee's endorsement by the New Hampshire affiliate of the NEA would help him win his party's nomination. Well, someone finally used it as ammunition in a debate. Last night, at the South Carolina debate televised on Fox News, former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson included that NEA endorsement in a list of other perceived Republican sins (like raising ...


The only sitting governor in the presidential race—and the campaign's loudest NCLB naysayer—is calling it quits. Though New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson hasn't made it official, every media outlet in town is reporting it. (Update: He just made it official, a little before 3:30 p.m. today). This means Gov. Richardson, a Democrat, can stop thinking up more verbs he can use to describe what he wants to do with NCLB. "Scrap it", "junk it", "get rid of it", "throw it out", and the list goes on...While that may have resonated with the education community fed ...


Boosting teacher pay is a hot education reform topic on the presidential campaign trail, especially for Democrats. Barack Obama even talked about it last night during his second-place-finish speech in the New Hampshire primary, saying, "We [need to] stop talking about how great teachers are and start rewarding them for their greatness." It's a popular message with unions, whose members are a key voting bloc. Teacher pay is relatively easy for voters to understand in short sound bites. Plus, many voters find it hard to argue with the need to pay teachers more money for the vital, and difficult, public ...


No matter which party they identified with, voters in yesterday's New Hampshire primary are worried about one thing: the economy. New Hampshire featured big come-from-behind victories for Sen. John McCain of Arizona, a Republican written off months ago, and Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York, who was essentially written off in this state after Barack Obama's resounding victory in Iowa. With the economy weighing heavily on voters' minds, what better time for the presidential candidates to start talking more earnestly about how the quality of public schools does — or does not — affect the national economy? The producers of the ...


In the race for the presidency, having served as a governor is a big resume boost. Among recent occupants of the White House, look at President George W. Bush (Texas) and predecessors Bill Clinton (Arkansas), and Ronald Reagan (California)—all ex-CEOs of their states. In this presidential campaign, there are two ex-governors running for office — Republicans Mitt Romney, of Massachusetts, and Mike Huckabee, of Arkansas. And, on the Democratic side, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson is seeking the nation's highest office while remaining his state's chief executive. But if you can't be a governor, you'd better round 'em up in ...


If you read my colleague David Hoff's new piece about Margaret Spellings, you'll see that she seems to put to rest speculation , at least for the near future, that she may return to her home state of Texas to pursue a run for governor in 2010, or possibly the U.S. Senate. Spellings told EdWeek's Hoff that she expects to keep living in suburban Washington, D.C., until her youngest daughter graduates from high school in 2010. “I’m probably going to stay in Washington for a while,” she said....


With Republican presidential contender John McCain poised to make a strong showing—or even win—tomorrow's primary in New Hampshire, it seems appropriate to re-examine his views on education. That's not such an easy task. Education doesn't make the Arizona senator's list of issues on his campaign website. McCain doesn't talk much about No Child Left Behind (which he voted for as a member of the Senate in 2001) on the campaign trail, but he has said he favors some changes in testing requirements, particularly as they relate to English-language learners. In the Dec. 12 debate in Iowa, when asked ...


The results from yesterday's Iowa caucuses make one thing very clear: these Midwestern voters are demanding change. So they gave their votes to Republican Mike Huckabee, a likable, though sometimes gaffe-prone, bass-playing former Arkansas governor who has made arts education his big school initiative. And to Democrat Barack Obama, an African-American candidate who has billed himself as a force for change, who has dared to broach the subject of merit pay for teachers and who hasn't been nearly as fierce in his opposition of No Child Left Behind as some of his opponents. (Democrat Hillary Clinton made a passing mention ...


Today, voters in Iowa will help decide who will be our next president, and today here in the Washington D.C. area, I'm about halfway through last year's season of the HBO show, "The Wire." What does "The Wire" have to do with the Iowa caucuses, you ask? Well nothing, except the two got me thinking... This gritty, in-your-face, no-apologies drama about how street life rules Baltimore turned its lens on the city's public schools in Season Four. And the result wasn't pretty. (I happen to be a Baltimore resident so this show is pretty much required viewing in my ...


Follow This Blog

Advertisement

Most Viewed on Education Week

Categories

Archives

Recent Comments