Thursday, September 25, 2008

The candidates on tuition costs

Associated Press reporter Justin Pope offers this comparison of the candidates on college affordability.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Counter to WSJ article

From past EWA president Linda Lenz in a column in the Chicago Sun-Times. Walter Annenberg, an ambassador under President Ronald Reagan, is probably shaking his head in the great beyond...

Edited to add: Alexander Russo also raises a skeptical eyebrow. He should know: he wrote the chapter in a Fordham Foundation report on the annals of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge Foundation.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

This certainly hasn't come up in Obama's education platform

WSJ opinion piece says Obama was on the board of education foundation with a 1960s radical from 1995-99, which gave more than than $100 million to community organizers.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

WaPost says McCain ads are lies

The Washington Post is defending Education Week and Barack Obama by claiming that Sen. McCain's new TV spots stretch the truth.
The editorial also disputes McCain's claim that Obama supported sex ed for kindergarteners, which is something I have seen rereported on many blogs on the Web.
Check out the Post's attempt to set the record straight here.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Another attempt to sort out education issues

AP writer Libby Quaid lays out the education differences.

Sparring over education

Elizabeth Green in the New York Sun does a nice job framing the education differences between the two candidates.

Chicago roots in Obama's education plan...

This New York Times story nicely lays out the Chicago influences in Obama's education plan. Interesting there was no mention of the fact that the senator sends his daughters to an expensive private school there. With Gov. Palin making such as impact in the race (her kids attend local public schools), I can't imagine this will remain an untouched issue for long.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Students with disabilities

During her acceptance speech, Sarah Palin told parents of children with disabilities that she would be their advocate in the White House.

The International Herald Tribune runs a story exploring how much of an advocate she was in the past and the reactions of parents of kids with disabilities.

Obama outlines his education proposals

(Barack Obama speaks about education in Dayton, Ohio, Tuesday.)

There weren't a lot of new ideas from Barack Obama Tuesday during an education speech in Dayton, Ohio. The headline was his support of doubling to $400 million the amount of federal aid for charter schools. Otherwise, he mostly emphasized proposals he has made in the past.

Among the initiatives he highlighted:

--Heavier investment in early childhood education. He is pushing to expand federal aid for pre-school programs.

--College tax break. Obama wants to offer a $4,000 tax credit for students willing to commit to community or military service after college.

--New teachers. He wants to recruit new teachers to the profession using service scholarships

--Replacing bad teachers. Obama said there should be a way to remove bad teachers from the profession, but said he was open to a variety of ways to do that.

--Pay for performance. He repeated his admiration for programs, such as on in Dayton, that gives extra pay to teachers who demonstrate high performance.

--Longer school days. He hinted that the U.S. may have to consider instituting a longer school day, pointing to other nations that have it.

--Graduation rate. Obama pledged to make the U.S. No. 1 for high school graduation rate. (I noticed he didn't pledge to make the country No.1 in the world for test scores.)

--College level courses. He said he wants to increase by 50 percent the number of high school kids taking college level or AP courses.

--Innovative school funds. He wants special funds targeted to support schools trying new ideas.

--New charter accountability. In addition to giving more money to charter schools, Obama called for stricter accountability to shut down bad charter schools.

--After school and summer school. Citing China he said if other nations can offer these programs, the U.S. should find a way to do the same.

--New classroom technology. Obama said he wanted to improve school technology by adding new tools like video "smart boards" and student laptops to classrooms.

--Paying for it all. Obama said all this could be paid for by redirecting the cost of just a few days in Iraq

--Testing. He was critical of "teaching to the test" and called on teachers to be a part of an effort to create "new assessments" for the future.

--Accountability. Obama called for "parent contracts" in which parents would promise to do their part to help their kids in school and promised an annual address to the nation to discuss progress toward education goals.

This post also appears on my education blog, Get on the Bus.

(Image credit: Jan Underwood, Dayton Daily News)

Obama touts charters, performance pay, after school programs in Ohio

Today I'm at a Dayton, Ohio, high school where Barack Obama will make what is being described as a "major policy speech" on education.

For excerpts from Obama's upcoming speech touting charter schools, teacher performance pay and after school programs, hop over to the Get on the Bus education blog.

What is Barack Obama's take on education? That's not as easy to explain as you might think. To learn more about the battle within the Democratic Party two big education camps for Obama's allegiance, go here.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Proving ‘community organizer’ isn’t a dirty word (or phrase)

Obama's education advisors aren't shying away from the candidate's "community organizer" history, despite jabs at last week's Republican convention.
Nope, he's two trustee ed folks are going all-out and hosting a series of conference calls on Obama's 10-point education platform.
According to Ed Week, the nightly conference calls will include topics like the senator’s $10 billion plan for early education.

The Obama straddle...

More evidence of Obama straddling the competing education camps within the Democratic Party is found in this Paul Tough piece in the most recent New York Times Sunday Magazine. It's same dilemma I wrote about recently while guest blogging for Eduwonk, pegged to the Denver Art Museum gathering prior to the start of the Democratic convention.

Richard Whitmire

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Republican Student Vote

Eight years ago, when he ran against George W. Bush in the Republican primary, John McCain held both the maverick label and the support of many college students.

But in this year's Republican contest, Ron Paul was the darling of many students on college campuses, even after he left the Republican race, and that support was still evident among the many young voters who skipped class to be at his daylong rally on Tuesday in Minneapolis.

The presence of thousands of supporters of Representative Paul, a septuagenarian libertarian from Texas, is a reminder to Mr. McCain and his supporters, gathered this week across the Mississippi River in St. Paul, that they will have to compete for the youngest voters. And they face a tough fight against the Democratic candidate in the general election, Barack Obama, who even the president of the College Republicans says sometimes seems like he's "running to be a pop star."

While Mr. McCain leads Mr. Obama among all other age groups of voters, he trails him among those ages 18 to 34, 37 percent to 55 percent, according to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll conducted late last month.

So, what happened? Did Senator McCain change? Or did young voters?

Read The Chronicle's story, by Karin Fischer, to find out what political scientists and others say.

We also have this video of students explaining why they support Mr. Paul.

Other Chronicle coverage of the Republican convention, including reports on student protests, what college students are doing at the convention, how young delegates responded to Sarah Palin's speech, and other topics can be followed on our Campaign U. blog.

GOP Platform on Higher Education

The party platform Republicans approved this week in St. Paul provides red meat to conservative voters, decrying the "leftist dogmatism that dominates" many colleges and opposing efforts to provide education benefits to some illegal immigrants, a break once strongly advocated by John McCain.

In another difference with Senator McCain's positions, the platform advocates a total ban on research using embryonic stem cells. Senator McCain has said he supports federal financing of programs that use amniotic fluid and adult stem cells and "other types of scientific study that do not involve the use of human embryos." As a senator, Mr. McCain has voted in favor of allowing research on human embryos left over from fertility treatments.

On other fronts, the platform document singles out for praise colleges that spend more of their endowment funds on student aid, a cause championed by some Congressional Republicans, and calls for a presidential commission to examine the "tuition spiral." And it acknowledges the key role that higher education must play in maintaining the United States' innovative edge in an increasingly competitive global economy.

Unlike the policy statement approved last week by Democrats at their convention in Denver, the Republican platform says little about expanding student aid, even as it decries the increase in college costs. Instead, it notes Republicans' past advocacy of measures to provide tax incentives for families to save for college and expresses support for private lenders in the student-loan marketplace.

See The Chronicle's story, by Karin Fischer, for more details about the Republican platform's provisions related to higher education.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

McCain lukewarm on NCLB?

That's what Alyson Klein at Education Week is reporting, and I agree. My betting is that McCain would be far more likely than Obama to let the air of No Child Left Behind's accountability system. Cracking the whip on states just isn't in McCain's heart.

Richard Whitmire

Obama's ed advisers

Last week, we noted that McCain's education adviser blogged during the DNC convention for Eduwonk. Now Obama's advisers are following suit. They're starting with a 10-point education plan.

Democrats sparring unions?

Democratic platform on education doesn't sit well with many union leaders, as this article by USA Today's Greg Toppo lays out. While school reformers have staked out a place at Obama's political table this election, it appears likely the candidate will split the differences throughout the campaign. If elected, Obama may not have to show his hand until it comes to reauthorizing No Child Left Behind.

Richard Whitmire