• November 13, 2013

    Last week, several states and cities held elections that will have a considerable impact on the K-12 education system. We asked Insiders to briefly respond to the results of those elections, and share their insight on the education implications Read more

  • By Jenna Schuette Talbot
    October 31, 2013

    November 5 is coming up quickly, and holds big elections for several states. Here's our latest round up of the polls. Read more

  • By Peter Cookson
    September 7, 2012

    The 2012 Democratic and Republican platforms espouse many similar ideas for education reform but the devil—or the difference—is in the details.  Read more

  • By Peter W. Cookson, Jr.
    August 31, 2012

    With a clear focus on limited federal prescriptions, increased state responsibility and expanded parental choice, the Romney plan takes steps toward deregulating and decentralizing public education.  Read more

  • By Jenna Schuette Talbot
    August 22, 2012

    The edu-world is abuzz with news of Congressman Paul Ryan’s selection as GOP vice president nominee: What does Governor Romney’s pick actually mean for education?   Read more

  • November 30, 2010
  • By John Bailey
    November 12, 2010

    lection results and what they mean for policy areas such as education.  

    ProspectsOn Wednesday, Andy Rotherham and I hosted our fourth Education Insider webinar, this one focused on the midterm elections.  Alyson Klein over at Politics K-12 covered some of the top line findings as did Rick Hess. Some results that caught my attention:

    • State Elections:  For those involved in education, the real political shakeup didn't happen in Congress but at the state level.  Republicans picked up the governor’s office in 12 states (including key 2012 Presidential swing states) and now control more legislative seats than at any other point since 1928. Federal policies like the Common Assessments and national efforts such as Common Core, might face some additional scrutiny and challenges in this new political landscape.

    • Voter Frustration:  The exit polls revealed that seven out of 10 voters were dissatisfied with the way federal government is working.  Other polling shows that voters think the stimulus programs have helped big banks and institutions but did little to help low- and middle-income families.  That helps to explain why voters want to see some spending restraint.  They are not going to support increased federal spending when they believe the government isn’t working and isn't pursuing policies that benefit them.

    • Insiders Are Pessimistic About ESEA Reauthorization:  54% expect reauthorization will take place after 2012 with 46% believing it will take place in 2013 after the next Presidential election.  

    • But There Is Hope:   The President highlighted education as one of the areas he could work with the Republicans.  The White House has sent stronger signals over the last week that they want to work on ESEA reauthorization then they have all of last year.  Insiders also pointed out that incoming Speaker Boehner is passionate about education reform, having worked with Sen. Kennedy on NCLB. If both sides want to show voters that they can work together on something, education could be as good of an issue as any. Insiders said that if we don't see a bill by August, then we're most likely looking at a reauthorization after January 2013.  

    • Funding:  We have likely see the high-water mark for education funding.  More than 45 states have 2011 budget shortfalls totaling $125 billion with additional shortfalls projected for next fiscal year as well.  State revenues are decreasing while Medicaid enrollment is increasing making matters even worse.  At the Federal level, we're likely to see a pivot from stimulus to austerity measures.  Eric Cantor has called for holding reverting the budget back to FY 2008 levels (pre-bailout/stimulus).  The President attacked this saying it would result in a 20% cut in education funding, but then his Fiscal Responsibility Commission issued a similar recommendation of holding the budget to FY 2010 levels with 1% reductions over three years.  Our Insiders were split 50/50 if this will mean cuts for Federal education dollars or just level funding. 

    Much more in our 47 page report found here.  

    We also spoke with investors and analysts about the elections as part of Stifel, Nicolaus & Company hosted event.  There were a lot of questions around what the elections mean for the higher education community, particularly the pending gainful employment regulations.  We happened to have asked Insiders this very question and found that more than 82% believe it is likely that the Republicans will try to block the implementation of Gainful Employment. what surprised me was the number of times Insiders referenced Gainful Employment in other areas of our survey.  Meaning how the Administration handles this controversial regulations has implications for the politics around ESEA reauthorization.  

    We also just finished a summary of the education platforms of the 37 governors that won their election last week. Will be available soon...

    Finally, our colleagues at Dutko Grayling State and Local hosted an event discussing the election with Nathan Daschle, Democratic Governors Association; Phil Cox, Republican Governors Association, and Josh Kraushaar, National Journal.  You can watch it online at C-SPAN.  



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  • By Ben Wallerstein
    November 3, 2010

    This election continues to generate exciting news at the state level. The Republican takeover in both houses of the Alabama legislature - for the first time since Reconstruction - is a big deal. (Almost as noteworthy as both Alabama and Auburn being ranked #1 at one point or another in the same season.) But, there is exciting news for ed reformers that seems to be going overlooked.

    One state, that seems poised for major innovation and reform is Oklahoma -- where outsider Janet Barresi was elected the first - ever - Republican State Superintendent in the state's history.

    A reformer through and throug, Barresi has founded two charter schools in the state - including Oklahoma City's first.  With Rep. Mary Fallin (R-OK) taking over as the State's Chief Executive, we're looking for big shifts in the Sooner State.  Key priorities will include third grade reading, and virtual education - with a major rewrite of state policies likely this session.

      Read more

  • November 10, 2010 - 2:00pm

    Elections matter.  Some register as mild tremors, others bring fundamental shifts in the direction of government and/or the relationship of the citizenry to their elected officials.  Yet the election itself is only the first part of a two act play -- the second, perhaps the more critical part, is governing.  Specifically, how does the message that the voters impart via the ballot box impact the adoption and implementation of the laws and regulations of the nation. 

    This year's election could have a tremendous impact on the direction of education policy in the country.  With the potential for a change of party control and new leadership on the education committees of the Congress, as well as changes resulting from the 37 gubernatorial races throughout the country (including many Race to the Top winning states), what were priorities during the past two years may not be the priorities of the next two years.  

    On issues ranging from the future of the adoption of Common Core Standards to the key principles of a possible ESEA reauthorization, as well as issues such as the Administration's efforts to regulate for profit postsecondary institutions and the budget pressures on all levels of education, many critical issues that will shape education over the coming decade will be determined over the next 24 months. 

    The Obama Administration has signaled that it may look to education as an issue that it may find common ground with Republicans in Congress.  Yet it is not clear where the areas of agreement and tension between the Republicans and Democrats, the states and the Federal government, or the Obama Administration and various education interest groups may lie. 

    Our next "Education Insider" will explore these issues as we survey our insiders to gauge their reactions to the election results and gain insight on the key hurdles -- and opportunities -- going forward.  Who will emerge as the major players, what will be the major issues, how will the new crop of state leaders impact what happens inside the beltway - and ultimately how successful will the Obama Administration be in attaining its education agenda -- all will be explored in detail. 

    If your work requires insight into these trends and likely outcomes, you can’t afford not to know what the most connected insiders think is likely to happen.  Because elections matter...



    And join Andy Rotherham and John Bailey for an interactive Webinar on November 10, 2010 discussing the Education Insider survey results.  Joining them will be:

    Simon Rosenberg:  President and founder of New Democrat Network, a leading, center-left think tank in Washington, DC. Rosenberg, a veteran of two presidential campaigns, including the 1992 Clinton War Room, got his start as a writer and producer in network television. He is a leading political thinker and commentator with a unique ability to identify important trends and decipher changes transforming American politics well before others.

    Rosenberg has built NDN into one of Washington’s most forward-thinking policy shops. Together with Dr. Rob Shapiro, President Clinton’s Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs and Chair of NDN’s Globalization Initiative, he has fashioned a unique set of messages and policies around focusing on the economic well-being of everyday people based on Shapiro’s early analysis that even as GDP and productivity rose during the Bush years, wages stagnated and incomes declined.

    Rosenberg is a member of the Aspen Institute’s 2001 Class of Henry Crown Fellows and served on the 2004 Democratic National Convention Platform Committee. He sits on the boards of the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service, the publication Democracy: A Journal of Ideas and the Roosevelt Institution. In 2007, Rosenberg was named one of the 50 most powerful people in DC by GQ Magazine.


    Dane Linn:  As Director of the Education Division at the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, Dane oversees all education-related policy research, analysis and resource development. He regularly provides consultation and tailored analysis to the nation's governors on a host of issues including No Child Left Behind, early childhood, elementary and secondary, and postsecondary education. Under Dane's leadership, NGA's work continues to assist governors on developing policies that increase the number of students who graduate from high school ready for postsecondary education and the workplace.

    Recognized as a national expert in his field, Dane has authored numerous reports on issues ranging from school finance and teacher quality to school redesign and pay for performance. He recently spearheaded NGA's national initiative Redesigning the American High School, launched by former Governor Mark Warner of Virginia during his tenure as NGA Chair. Currently, Mr. Linn is leading the Common Core Standards Initiative which is state-led process for developing national standards in English Language Art and mathematics.

    Prior to his work at NGA, Dane worked at the West Virginia Department of Education where he was responsible for ensuring the implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Before that, he served as legislative liaison to the House of Delegates. His professional experience in education began as an elementary school teacher and principal.

    A graduate of Cabrini College, Dane received a master's degree from Marshall University Graduate College and is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

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  • October 12, 2010

    We are pleased to present an update to the 2010 State of the States report which contains a state-by-state analysis of the 37 governor races.  This document reflects information as of October 12, 2010.  

    This year is a "mega‐election year" at the state level – with the Congressional midterms and 37 gubernatorial races (the most since 2000). The significance of this cycle is compounded by the fact that, given the number of term‐limited and retiring governors, over half (nineteen) of the races are for open seats. Education makes up a significant portion of state budgets and as such, will will emerge as an important and high profile issue during the 2010 cycle as candidates lay out a vision for education reform and struggle with potential funding cuts. 

    These governor races will also be important with respect to several Federal priorities, including Common Core Standards, the new assessment coalitions, and Race to the Top.  Will the candidates continue the policies of their predecessors in each of these areas or will they change course? 

      Read more

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