In the National News. One of the more interesting news items from the past week was Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama's appearance at the annual conference of the National Education Association. Obama's remarks were generally well-received, but were met with a smattering of boos as he mentioned his support for some system of merit pay. Obama also mentioned the need for continued accountability and his support for some portions of No Child Left Behind.
Obama received the NEA endorsement (Okay everybody, do your best Gomer Pyle "Sooo-prize! Sooo-prize! Sooo-prize!) at the convention, so it was interesting to see him challenge the membership on several key issues. How this shakes out during the remainder of the presidential campaign remains to be seen, but Obama will certainly enjoy the NEA's healthy financial backing. At the same time, Republican candidate Senator John McCain, who shares Obama's views on merit pay and No Child Left Behind, will certainly try to make the point that Obama is in the pocket of the status quo in terms of education policy.
Obama Education Platform: http://www.barackobama.com/issues/education/
Minnesota Public Radio Education Feature:
Story at NEA site (with video clip):http://www.nea.org/annualmeeting/raaction/07obamaspeech.html
McCain Education Platform:
Your House Republican Candidates. State House of Representatives' Minority Leader Marty Seifert held a press conference yesterday to announce his caucus' slate of candidates for the 2008 General Election. The Republicans will have a candidate in all 134 House districts, which should make for some interesting competition. Of course, one of the more watched races up to this point has been in House District 16B, where Republicans endorsed former Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer over incumbent State Representative Mark Olsen. Olsen has not announced whether he will run as a Republican in the primary or head straight to the general election as an independent. He has one week to decide, as filings close on Tuesday, July 15, at 5:00 PM.
MPR Story: http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2008/07/08/house_republicans/
Endorsed Republican House Candidates (incomplete list): http://www.mngop.com/candidates/
Note that Faribault School Board member Otto Luknic is the endorsed Republican candidate in House District 26B and former Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan School Board member Judy Lindsay is a candidate in House District 37B.