Wednesday, November 5, 2008

More speculation on Obama's education secretary

Some speculation seems far out. Caroline Kennedy's name has been mentioned (alhtough more frequently as ambassador to the United Nations). So has Colin Powell's.

Michelle Rhee's name has been dropped. Katherine Sebelius, governor of Kansas, is mentioned not only for education secretary but possibly Commerce or Health and Human Services.

But David Hoff of Education Week believed Oct. 22 all speculation is premature. He points out that such decisions are weighed for balance -- Obama won't want to appoint too many governors or Chicagoans, for instance.

Hoff's colleague, Michele McNeil, who also has blogged for us, says some of his education advisers have been assigned to Obama's transition team. Among them are some of the people whose names have cropped up as possible nominees. The big one: Arizona Gov. Jane Napolitano, whose name has dropped as a candidate for attorney general or education secretary.

More interesting speculation...

on Obama's pick for secretary of education is found here in the Chronicle of Higher Education. I note that the Washington Post this morning settled on just one name from this list, New York City schools chancellor Joel Klein. That would be both radical and interesting.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The most comprehensive list of possible ed secretaries ever...

is offered up here by insidehighered. A less conventional bid for the job is found here.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Jay Mathews lays out the education realities

Post columnist does a nice job here laying out where the next President will take education. I think he's right. I might have put a little more emphasis on preschool and charter schools and less emphasis on reviving NCLB. I'm guessing flat federal budgets for education, which will force everyone to sharpen priorities.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Student newscaster

Maybe it's not that pertinent to education,but it sure is cute. Check out the little boy learning to be a TV reporter covering Vice Presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Hat tip to This Week in Education.

And I agree. The best line was "Senator Biden is now my homeboy."

Another note: I used to cover Palm Beach County schools. Canal Point Elementary is one of the few very rural schools in Palm Beach County, in the farming country around Lake Okeechobee, miles from West Palm Beach and in one of the poorest areas in the county. Kudos to the school for sending this little boy on a reporting mission.

And here's a story in the Palm Beach Post about Damon. He's had a lot of practice interviewing politicians, including Obama and Clinton. His class also has covered John McCain.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Student Voters in Battleground States

Undergraduates in four battleground states — Colorado, North Carolina, Ohio, and Pennsylvania — prefer Barack Obama to John McCain by a two-to-one margin, according to a poll released yesterday that was conducted by CBS News, UWIRE, and The Chronicle.

A whopping 94 percent of the nearly 25,000 undergraduates at 49 four-year colleges who were surveyed said they were registered to vote. And the vast majority of students said they definitely planned to do so.

However, the students were not as engaged politically as some may have thought. Most of the students polled weren't out knocking on doors or persuading family and friends to vote for their candidate. And they appeared to actually be paying less attention to the election than the average American does.

Over all, only one in three of the students had displayed a campaign sign or tried to recruit a friend or family member to a particular campaign. About half of the registered student voters said they were paying "a lot" of attention to the campaign, while 65 percent of all registered voters said they were paying a lot of attention in a recent CBS News/New York Times poll.

Like most would-be voters, students registered to vote in the battleground states said the economy is the No. 1 issue they would base their vote on. About 76 percent said a candidate's stance on the economy and jobs was extremely important to their vote, and 21 percent said it was very important.

Students said the candidate's views on education were second-likeliest to influence their vote — more so than issues like the war in Iraq, energy policy, and health care, which have figured prominently in the campaign. Eighty-five percent of the students said education was extremely or very important to their vote.

When it comes to higher education, registered student voters said they were most concerned about controlling the cost of college. Almost 64 percent said that was extremely important, followed by the quality of higher education, the ability to discuss a range of political views on the campus, and the availability of private loans.

Click here for the full results.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A PR pitch that's pretty helpful

The Cato Institute sent me this e-mail to offer up an expert on the differences between Obama and McCain on education.
Now keep in mind the Cato Institute likes to frame its opinions on the "principles of limited government, free markets, individual liberty, and peace." So there is your disclaimer. Either way, I found this really interesting and pretty balanced.

"Adam Schaeffer
, policy analyst with the Cato Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom, comments on the differences between Obama and McCain’s education plans:

“The differences between Barrack Obama and John McCain on k-12 education policy center on school choice and funding. McCain is more supportive of school choice and local control than Obama, and Obama supports a much larger increase in federal education spending.

“While both candidates speak favorably about school choice, only John McCain supports policies like vouchers and education tax credits that would allow parents to choose any school that works for their child, public or private. Barrack Obama speaks mainly of ‘accountability’ for public charter schools, which is often used by political actors who wish to restrict the relative freedom of action and independence that make charter schools attractive to many parents.

“[Obama] supports a large, $18 billion increase in federal education spending, with $10 billion of that increase devoted to an expanded federal effort in early education and preschool. Preschool has, however, been shown to be expensive and ineffective at increasing long-term achievement.

“McCain proposes to hold spending at the same levels and focus on expanding virtual education, tutoring and school choice, and encouraging local reforms.”