Monday, September 3, 2007

There is a plan somewhere

I'm back after a few weeks devoted to the great state AYP data dump/scramble (not to be confused with the coming state school accreditation data dump, which happens mid-month), the SAT scores release and the beginning of another school year. And we’ve been busy with higher ed issues, as well, including the Virginia Tech independent panel report and repercussions from same. It's been wild and crazy in my neck of the woods.

But, I have not forgotten Sen. Clinton, who has several education bills in play, which may move forward when Congress reconvenes this week. Back to juggling Senate responsibilities with a presidential campaign, an unenviable task.

Clinton recently picked up two major union endorsements, including The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, which noted its decision was based in part on her focus on education, which a spokesman called "one of the bread and butter issues" of middle class American voters. (The United Transportation Union also endorsed her last week, for those keeping score).

Pundits and dedicated Washington watchers have been debating whether NCLB is likely to be reauthorized this year. It's almost as much fun as a football pool to guess on the potential for passage in 2007. It still sounds like a long shot given the other pressing issues, including the budget, but anything is possible.

So far, Rep. George Miller has come through, posting a draft reauthorization proposal on the House Education Committee Web site. Watch to see if Sen. Ted Kennedy introduces a Senate counterpart this month. Both have promised changes in terms of flexibility. But Kennedy has three presidential contenders on his committee, and none sounds too keen on championing the law without some serious changes. Not tweaks. Big changes. Clinton is among the trio and has said several times she has concerns about the testing provisions and feels the law is flawed. She also wants better pay for teachers and has been supportive of proposals to focus on science, technology, engineering and math.

Back to Clinton on the Campaign trail. Her husband has been with her in New Hampshire, warming up the crowd and introducing the candidate. In several appearances, he has noted that Clinton has a plan for fixing education. We haven't seen the actual plan yet, but stay tuned.

In the meantime, I'll keep an eye on the various bills with which she is affiliated and listen for comments and reaction on all things ed. As always, if I’m missing something, send a shout out to me at and I’ll make sure we get the news posted.

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