November 2008 Archives

Now that Linda Darling-Hammond has been officially announced as the leader of the education policy working group, the Obama team has filled out the rest of the working group. Alyson and I will offer some perspective on what these folks bring to the table on Monday. If you have any thoughts, feel free to leave a comment or send us an email (links to the right, under our pictures.) But in the meantime, we've listed the group below: Group Members Ian Bassin Jeanne Century Robert Gordon Kris Gutiérrez John Jackson David Kirp Goodwin Liu Ray Mabus Geri Palast Steve Robinson ...


So the Associated Press is reporting that former American Federation of Teachers President Edward J. McElroy is a possibility for U.S. secretary of labor. McElroy has a long history with the AFL-CIO and, apparently, his heart is more on the labor union side of things than on the education side. Over at AFT, he served as a kind of a placeholder president for the current head, Randi Weingarten, who took the helm this year. Still, having someone with experience at one of the two national teachers' unions as head of the Department of Labor couldn't be bad for the ...


President-elect Obama has named Melody Barnes, the former general counsel to Sen. Ted Kennedy and the policy guru at the Center for American Progress, as the director of the White House Domestic Policy Council. Her top priority will be health care, but she'll also work on education issues, according to the CAP's Think Progress blog. Barnes, of Portfolio-gate fame, is taking a key domestic policy position in the White House that will undoubtedly help shape Obama's education proposals. After all, current Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings started out serving in a similar role for President Bush, as his domestic policy ...


So over at Flypaper, Mike Petrilli is placing his Ed Sec bets on former presidential candidate and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson. I seriously doubt it, for one reason: No one in the primary campaigned harder against NCLB than Richardson. He made it clear that he wanted to completely scrap the law and went after then-front runner Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York for saying she just wanted to "fix" it. Since President-elect Obama is of the mend-it-don't-end-it mind set, I'm guessing his education secretary pick would likely be, too. Richardson also wanted to set a minimum wage for ...


Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, a Democrat who is an ardent advocate of K-12 and higher education—and their link to the broader economy and jobs—appears headed to a cabinet post with the Department of Homeland Security. This seems to put to rest any education secretary speculation. This would leave Arizona firmly in the GOP's hands because the state's Republican Secretary of State, Jan Brewer, is next in line for the governor's office. Republicans control the legislature. From an education perspective, this is a loss for Arizona, for the governors' ranks, and for national education reform efforts. She was a ...


The Obama transition finally confirmed the obvious: Linda Darling-Hammond is their key point person on education. In a press release just sent out, the Obama team announced that Darling-Hammond (who just three days ago told me she was "just an adviser") is the Policy Working Group Leader for education. View the complete list of working groups here. Unlike some other working groups, which are being led by a duo or trio of people, Darling-Hammond will be flying solo. She's also among some pretty elite people, including former Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle (who is leading the health care group) and ...


With financial markets melting down and the auto industry seeking a bailout, the assumption is that federal education funding might feel the squeeze in coming years. But President-elect Barack Obama may surprise people and find room in the federal budget for the $30 billion a year it will take to make his education agenda a reality, one of his campaign's education advisers said Tuesday. "He has talked about education as an investment in a very serious way" and he sees his education proposals as ways "to grow the economy," Linda Darling-Hammond told the National Academy of Education at an event ...


It looks like health care, which got a lot more attention during the presidential campaign than education, is going to take precedence over K-12 school legislation, at least in the Senate, when Congress comes back in January. Michael Myers, a top aide to Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, told Families USA, a health care advocacy group, that health legislation will be Kennedy's "first, second, and third priority" in the new Congress. That would mean that the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act, and other education bills, are, ...


From guest blogger David J. Hoff: Russo and Petrilli have beat us to the punch on Democrats for Education Reform's slate to take over the U.S. Department of Education. Chicago schools CEO Arne Duncan, their pick for secretary of education, isn't surprising. His name surfaced as far back as June—thanks to eduwonk. But the reason DFER is pushing for Duncan is interesting. Here's an excerpt from the memo: In his seven years at the head of the nation’s 3rd largest school district, Chicago Public Schools has demonstrated sustained improvements in student achievement, graduation rates, and college-going rates....


When U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings addressed the Council of Chief State School Officers on Friday, she joked that she “brought the keys to the department in case there [could] be a pass off right now.” She was alluding to the myriad of names being bandied about for job of education secretary, although I haven’t heard any current education chiefs as leading contenders. Spellings helped kick off the first day of the conference in Austin, Texas, and President-elect Barack Obama’s ed transition pooh-bah (I’m not sure what her official title is) Linda Darling-Hammond ended it. ...


Actually, a couple groups have already beaten you to it. One group of petitioners is trying to get Sen. Barack Obama to appoint Linda Darling-Hammond, a Stanford education professor and one of Obama's campaign advisers as secretary of education. The group says it seeks "a truly progressive public education system" and "that Dr. Darling-Hammond is a key ingredient to achieving such a system." Darling-Hammond has done extensive research on leadership and teacher professional development. She is a champion of teacher residency programs, which allow prospective educators to get beefed-up field experiences while earning teacher certification or a master's degree. So ...


My colleague, Erik Robelen, was in Seattle yesterday covering the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's new strategy for revamping its high school reform strategy. After the formal speeches, the Gates team gathered on stage for some Q-and-A from the high-powered audience, which included the likes of Washington, D.C., schools chief Michelle Rhee and Michael Cohen from Achieve. Robelen offered up a transcript of Bill Gates' answer to a question about marshalling political and public will to accomplish a new reform agenda. His answer is long and meandering, but worth reading. Take note that when Gates talks about the education ...


Just because a person's name appears in the press doesn't mean he or she is actually a candidate, or even wants the job.


Transition team director John Podesta's think tank, the Center for American Progress, has weighed in on NCLB on the past, generally on the side of the pro-strong federal accountability.


The Times cites the New York City public school system chancellor's close ties to the Obama family and its advisers, but points out the rocky relationship Klein had with the AFT's Randi Weingarten.


That might be great news for districts with decaying school facilities. Congressional leaders have expressed interest in including money for school construction in an economic-stimulus plan.


The president-elect attends parent-teacher conferences and hires a friend of charter schools to be his top staffer.


Everyone is guessing who the next secretary of education will be. But one blogger has a useful reminder: Other positions may not be as high-profile, but they could be just as important.


For all the talk of how the already overdue reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act will present a major test for President-elect Obama, some are betting that the first education item on the new administration's to-do list will be expanding pre-K programs.


Just about anybody, if you believe what you read in the papers. It could be one of several governors, urban superintendents, Obama policy advisers, or even former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell.


A handful of President-elect Obama's education advisers have been appointed to his transition team, including Christopher Edley and Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano.


An important state-level contest affecting K-12 education is still undecided: the race for Washington State schools chief, where incumbent Terry Bergeson is trailing.


Two controversial ballot measures in Oregon look to be headed for defeat, and a third is too close to call right now. Voters rejected one effort to limit instruction in languages other than English and another to redirect school money toward law enforcement. A third measure, limiting payroll deductions for political spending, hasn't been decided.


Rep. Mark Udall, a Democrat, has claimed the open U.S. Senate seat in Colorado, defeating former Rep. Bob Schaffer, who was an ardent opponent of the No Child Left Behind Act's expansion of the federal role in education.


Voters gave their public schools what could be a $660 million annual gift when they approved a measure to open five gambling halls throughout the state. The ballot question was the largest gambling-for-school-funding measure on various state ballots around the country today.


At least three Democratic freshmen on the House Education and Labor Committee appeared headed to victory, according to CNN's projections. All three pulled out narrow victories in 2006 and were considered possible Republican targets earlier in the cycle.


Massachusetts voters turned down a proposal to repeal the state's income tax, which local governments and the state teachers union warned would threaten education in the Bay State.


Most of the returns weren't even in yet, but already the National Education Association had sent around a press release bragging about its election efforts. The union, which endorsed Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama, distributed more than 21.3 million pieces of mail during the campaign.


If Democrats can hang on to the governor's seats in North Carolina and Washington State, then they'll have a good night in statehouses because they picked up Missouri.


Former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner, a Democrat, has claimed the Senate seat left open by retiring GOP Sen. John Warner. As the chairman of the National Governor's Association, Mark Warner made education a priority


Throughout Election Day and Night, Campaign K-12 will be tracking not only the presidential race, but also the 11 governors' races, five state chiefs' races, plus ballot measures that affect schools—and anything else on the education front that seems interesting.


It isn't even election day yet, but education bloggers are already asking that question.


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