Thursday, June 12, 2008

Keegan meeting....

Below, Michele does a great job summing up what we learned today from the session with Lisa Graham Keegan at Fordham. There was some frustration as the national reporters repeatedly tried to pin Keegan down on specifics, which she was reluctant to offer.

I walked away not knowing whether the specifics actually exist -- or she's simply not at liberty to discuss them. McCain won't be releasing his education plan until the fall.

Then I realized I was missing the big picture from that gathering, which is actually quite clear and specific: McCain will be calling the No Child Left Behind bluff that all children will end up as proficient learners in 2014. Everybody knows that won't happen, but you won't hear that message from the White House or Department of Education.

And McCain won't be pretending that states, with almost no federal help, can somehow patch up (reconstitute) all the schools that fail for five straight years. It's obvious those schools aren't being fixed.

So while Keegan spent an hour dancing around any details of what McCain will actually do, she made it clear that the campaign will draw a sharp line with the Bush administration with this message: No pretending.

Hence, the first education shots fired from the McCain campaign veered closer to the White House than the Obama campaign.

Richard Whitmire

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