Stagnation, snobbery, and spending: another week in Washington

GOP Rep. John Kline’s ESEA reauthorization bills
slipped out of the House Education and the Workforce Committee on a party-line
vote,
but will likely stall in their current state. The time for
posturing has passed: If Congress wants any role in education policy, it’s got
to start compromising
.

The dithering on Capitol Hill was in stark contrast to
the activity at the Education Department, which received NCLB
waiver applications from twenty six more states and D.C.
by its Tuesday deadline.
While the merits
(and, indeed, the constitutionality) of the feds’ waiver program are far from
settled
, Congress has given states few alternatives.

It’s a welcome surprise to find a GOP candidate willing to
talk about education, but Rick Santorum seems to be bringing all the wrong
kinds of attention to important policies worthy of thoughtful support (home schooling) and skepticism (universal higher ed).

The National Association of Charter School Authorizers' latest brief in its Cyber Series is yet another bit (byte?)
to add to the mounting evidence that best practices for charter
authorizing provide a useful framework for overseeing online schools.

Congratulations are due to Robin Lake,
the newly
announced successor
to Paul Hill as head of the Center on Reinventing Public
Education (CRPE) at the University of Washington-Bothell. Congrats are due to
Paul, too, for building such a stellar organization and team. We have worked
closely with CRPE and both of those fine scholars in multiple ways over many
years. We've come to admire and respect (and occasionally envy) the
organization they and their colleagues have built and the insights—sometimes
controversial but never unfounded, mean-spirited or ad hominem—they have
brought to some of the most important challenges in K-12 education. Paul isn't
riding off into any sunset—an eased-back Hill will still produce more than
three ordinary individuals—and Robin is no neophyte to the challenges and
opportunities that await CRPE. A round of applause for them both, please!

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