Thursday, May 1, 2008

You can clock her

I owe Alexander Russo again (the man is incredible about staying on top of every little story) for noting a Bloomberg piece on what the presidential candidates say on the trail, as opposed to what is reported in the news. You can read the piece, written by Kristin Jensen, here. She notes Clinton gets applause when denouncing No Child Left Behind -- the latest reauthorization of the Elementary And Secondary Education Act, which she supported as a member of the Senate education committee -- and usually devotes about a fifth of her 30-35 minute stump speeches to education. Jensen's story notes education took up 6 minutes of a recent speech.
We've heard much of it: she's for universal Pre-K. She's concerned about financial assistance for college students. We need better teachers in the classroom. But Jensen writes that Clinton also complains the feds don't provide enough funds for NCLB, not a new complaint by any means. And Clinton claims the law requires teachers to "teach to the test." No details or analysis about what that means, though, or explanations of how you gauge whether students have learned the info and skills in their state's math, reading and science standards (whether difficult, easy or dumbfounding).
If any of us has the chance to get in a few questions as this campaign continues its I'm-not-dead-yet psuh toward June, it would be good to dig under those sound bites and find out whether she's talking changes for the next reauthorization (and what those changes might be), or if she really wants to toss the law and come up with something completely new.
~ Cathy Grimes
Newport News Daily Press

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