‘No Decision’ in Round One of Debate Between Campaign Advisers

June 09, 2008 1 min read

Friday’s face-off between education advisers left a lot of us wanting more. Jeanne Century of the Obama campaign and Lisa Graham Keegan of the McCain campaign gave an overview of their candidates’ stands on NCLB and other education issues. But they didn’t clear explanations on some nitty-gritty policy questions.

At Campaign K-12, Alyson Klein complains about their lack of specificity, but highlights their differences on teacher performance pay, funding, and Reading First—all issues at the heart of NCLB’s future. At USA Today’s political blog, Greg Toppo says their proposed fixes for NCLB are ones “only education wonks can appreciate.”

But two sets of potential Obama supporters aren’t happy. At the Quick and the Ed, Chad Aldeman calls Keegan “competent and commanding” and Century “vague and elusive.” A self-professed Dem, Aldeman was disappointed that he was more impressed with what Keegan had to say.

Meanwhile, folks at the Educator Roundtable say that Obama’s campaign doesn’t “seem to get it.” They say the campaign is is too closely aligned with the Gates Foundation and the ED in ‘08 campaign that is trying to increase the visibility of issues such as academic standards and other issues.

There’s more to come. Keegan promised McCain would have more to say about education—specifically NCLB—in coming weeks. Maybe that could help drive education into the forefront of the campaign.

P.S. Jim Zellmer at School Information System digs through the edweek archives and finds that Jeanne Century of the Obama campaign is a fan of baseball and statistics.

UPDATE: It looks as if Obama will beat to McCain to the punch with a detailed K-12 plan, according to Michele McNeil’s latest item at Campaign K-12. Also, you can watch Friday’s forum at After Ed.

A version of this news article first appeared in the NCLB: Act II blog.