Friday, April 09, 2004


Juicy bits of information about a few political concerns concerning NCLB. Of course, this source is not willing to be cited by name:
    The timing of this erosion of voter support for the law is unfortunate for the Bush campaign. And education sources say that the president's advisers - especially Bush political guru Karl Rove - know it.
And there's more:
    "The White House is nervous about the election-year implications of NCLB," says Chester Finn of the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation. "It's unclear whether it's a political plus or minus. They want to keep it from being a minus."...Sending Mr. Dunn to the Education Department, speculate some, is a White House effort to bolster support for the law. Dunn is expected to create a conciliatory atmosphere, in contrast to Secretary Paige's more rigid approach.

    "Paige's credibility has been eroded," says Cronin. "His remark about the NEA [the teachers' union] being a terrorist organization and the questions surrounding the state of Houston's schools while he was there have created a lot of heat."

    Cronin adds that the White House is trying to keep Paige "on message. Now, his speeches are reviewed even before they go to the White House [for approval]."

    "Paige's remarks drew a line in the sand that discouraged people from wanting to work with the department," says Michael Resnick of the National School Boards Association.

    Dunn arrived at the Ed Dept early last month with little fanfare. Many in the education community still don't know exactly who he is, but some say they welcome any change in the embattled atmosphere.