Via Sam Stein at the HuffPo.
Trying to get the conversation back on more advantageous ground, Obama gave a speech today on education:
It's a much better -- and easier -- topic for Obama to deal with than the Fannie Mae bailout.
Denied a Republican convention or a good storm (so far), everyone's jumping on the Bristol Palin pregnancy bandwagon to bash Republicans, conservative politics, or -- most relevant here -- abstinence-only sex ed.
But that last bit may be a little over the top, points out this post from Jezebel (Let The Opprobrium Begin). I mean, besides the obvious part about using children this way.
Among other things, Jezebel notes that Palin has not been a big abstinence-only advocate, and most Alaska schools teach comprehensive sex ed.
Check out the post for more details and links to useful information. Let me know if there's something missing.
I'm still not finding much to support the notion that Obama was in any way a leader in the 2003 effort to bring more charter schools to Chicago, much less a clear instance of bipartisanship as was claimed by the camapign (see post from yesterday. The deal to give Chicago 15 more charter slots was negotiated between the Board and the union and then put into an omnibus bill. Fourteen of 59 state senators cosponsored the legislation, which passed unanimously in both houses. Charter supporters should note that the legislation wasn't a big win for charter advocates, limiting as it did the terms under which charters could expand in Chicago, one of the more restrictive setups in the nation. Here are some helpful links provided by a friend: the legislation, the roll call vote, the bill summary.
Way way down in the Obama campaign response regarding bipartisanship you can see a couple of education-related entries (The Obama record on bipartisanship).
Only problem is, I don't really remember Obama being involved with -- or credited for -- the charter school expansion that took place in 2003.
I'll check with my Chicago people but this claim, at least, seems exaggerated.
So says EdWeek's Campaign K12 (Keynote Democratic Convention). In addition to his work on education, he was once considered a Presidential front-runner (this pic is from a 2006 New York Times Magazine cover) and is still on some peoples' lists for VP.
While all that remains uncertain, it seems unlikely that we'll get the same kind of eye-catching keynote speech that we got last time around, when Obama took the podium four years ago.
You won't find much that hasn't already been covered in Alyson Klein's new story on campaign advisors -- especially not on the Democratic side, which I've written about extensively. Give Klein extra demerits for relying on as Petrilli and Rotherham rather than folks inside the campaigns themselves for quotes. All is not lost, however. Klein does fill in some new Republican names, and does get Rotherham to admit what everyone knew but he failed to admit for months to his readers: that he was a Clinton advisor (Advisers Take Public Roles in Campaigns EdWeek).
Anything could happen, but EdWeek's campaign blog leaps far out into the unlikelysphere with its notion that Chicago's Arne Duncan might be a leading candidate for EdSec under Obama (Arne Duncan?). The guy doesn't have nearly enough heft -- or success - to make the cut. Even his supporters would admit that he isn't a charismatic or dynamic speaker. He doesn't really give Obama anything politically. Hell, I don't even think Duncan realized he was signing onto two different manifestos. (But I'll check, just to be sure.)
Click on over to Joe Williams' DFER blog to see how this year's Democratic party platform differs in small but perhaps significant ways from four years ago (Democrats for Education Reform). Again, things do not seem to be moving in the BB direction. Not that the two agendas are mutually inconsistent, of course.
Here's some more specifics on who's going to be talking at the Denver education event two Sundays from now (Agenda). You'll see that there are some Broader Bolder folks involved -- Bob Schwartz is on one panel, for example. And lots more on the invitation list. So there's at least some effort to make this inclusive. There's also a follow-up event on Monday that I'm told may include a Randi Weingarten appearance. The big question now is whether Obama will show on Sunday.
AFTERNOON UPDATE: Bob Schwartz says that he was invited to attend but will not be at the Denver event on Sunday. Schwartz says he would have participated but that the plans were never finalized and he now has a scheduling conflict.
If teachers want NCLB gutted, then McCain's the man who's going to do it, says Richard Whitmire (McCain's Your Guy!).
And it's true. But teachers know, somewhere, that getting rid of NCLB won't make everything better. And it certainly won't generate a slew of new funding for schools.
Anyone who wants to get a crystal clear sense of which direction Obama is really going on education issues need only glance at this invitation to a big Denver education event that's being coordinated by DFER, the campaign, and other reformy types: Challenge For Change (PDF).
It's all Sharpton/Klein, all the time. Maybe they'll include some bolder, bigger types in the program - -like New Schools did with its memorable Weingarten-Rhee session in DC earlier this year. And maybe Obama will be persuaded not to sign onto the Sharpton Klein agenda officially, as a courtesey of some kind or to avoid looking like he's caving into McCain's dare. But the message -- and the divisions -- seem clear.
What the more liberal end of the education world will do in response to this, I have no idea.
McCain and Obama's Education Policies: Nine Things You need to Know HuffPo
For those who don't follow the education debate closely, there are two main philosophies that currently dominate the field: one is that market competition (choice) among schools gets kids learning more, and one is that more learning means investing more and earlier in kids and better teachers.
Who's the better education candidate? Capitol Hill Blue
Obama and McCain miss the mark on education LA Times
Although Barack Obama and John McCain try to offer solutions to help America break from conventional thinking on educational policy, both senators are missing key pieces to the puzzle of why our public schools are failing.
Obama's liabilities - race and class Washington Post
They saw mandatory school busing as robbing them of their chance to secure a better education for their children by moving into better school districts.
MCCAIN: YOUR CREW IS FEATHERWEIGHT TAPPED
Despite Republican attempts to paint him as all style and no substance, Zenilman reports that Barack Obama has been releasing many more, and much more specific, policy white papers than McCain.
A college scholarship program that John Edwards started in 2005 is being shut down, says Wonkette (John Edwards Screwing High School Kids, Too).
McCain's efforts on other fronts may be embarrassingly bad (and this one on education may in the end be for naught), but McCain's campaign really put the screws to the Obama folks last week and today by endorsing the Klein/Sharpton platform.
It's a ridiculous, which is to say brilliant, move. It makes McCain look active on education issues -- see quotes below -- and puts Obama in a jam between the union people who support Bigger, Bolder and the reformistas who support Klein/Sharpton -- during the weeks leading up to the convention.
Brilliant. No matter that McCain has no real commitment to education. No matter that someone from Obama's campaign said that he'd support both platforms (see June 17 post here). No matter that Obama's record, such as it is, is better on education than McCain's.
In reality, Obama probably does support both positions -- they're not totally exclusive -- but doing so, or declining to pick one or the other, will either way look bad.
This, by the way, is why so many campaign people hate education. Two largely Democratic education groups both simultaneously rolled out dueling manifestos -- for a long time oblivious each to the other and then unwilling or unable to work together to push for something everyone could live with. Thus showing what a leadership vacuum there is on education, and creating room for McCain to step in and play each off the other.
It won't lose Obama the election, but it certainly isn't helping him. The only upside is that it's made education more of an issue than it otherwise would have been. Maybe EDINO8 is behind it all.
What Will The Platform Say About Education?
Varied Responses To McCain Speech
Obama, Sharpton, & The NEA
Obama Stakes Out Bold New Education Position(s)
Which Manifesto Would Obama Have Signed?
Those of us with nothing better to do will be scrutinizing the Democratic party platform that's being developed for the upcoming Denver convention in a few weeks. What will it include about NCLB, or performance pay, or charters, or funding? Everyone wants to know. As this LA Times article points out, there is lots of infighting going on about its contents -- despite the fact that few elections are won or lost based on these documents.
"We are gratified that Senator McCain has endorsed the principles of the Education Equality Project, joining education, civil rights, and elected officials across America who are working together to bring meaningful reform to our nation's public schools," wrote New York City Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein and Reverend Al Sharpton on Friday. " Fixing our schools won't be easy and it will require strong national leadership—but nothing short of that will enable us to live up to our basic commitment to our children: to help them learn so they have a real shot at achieving the American dream. Education reform, like civil rights, is above partisan politics and must be embraced by all."
Not so fast, says incoming AFT president Randi Weingarten: “Sen. McCain clearly has his talking points down about education, but we’re still waiting to see any comprehensive plan...Sen. McCain’s naiveté about education reform is only as stunning as his hypocrisy. He takes a cheap shot by demonizing teachers, yet lauds the very education reforms that I collaborated on with his new best friends, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and School Chancellor Joel Klein.
From the Times (Delicate Obama Path on Class and Race Preferences):
"Some fear that Mr. Obama’s focus on the socioeconomic status of his daughters — as opposed to the diversity of experience and perspective they might bring to predominantly white campuses — may help conservatives in their battle to eliminate race from university admissions and government hiring."
Much the same could be said of Kahlenberg et al, who promote class-based deseg in the K12 system. But they're not as likely to be the next President. Here's another division within Democratic circles -- race vs. class-based deseg -- that Obama will have to deal with.
Kudos to the New America Funding Watch for getting into the spirit of things with this post (Let the Funding Debate Begin!) about just how much new spending the candidates are proposing -- and where it (might) come from. Finding the money is one part of the puzzle. Figuring out how to address political and substantive concerns is another.
I hear that the McCain education folks have reached out to none other than Marc Dean Millot, aka edbizbuzz, for education ideas and advice. It's a good move. Though not as widely known or accepted among the younger set of reformy Republicans, the astringent Millot has a wealth of knowledge about the school reform industry -- charters in particular -- and some sharp ideas. Plus he knows lots of people. He could help smarten up some of the campaign ideas.
UPDATE: Here's Millot's blog post on the subject, ecplaining what he'll do and not do. Kudos to him for the timely disclosure of his campaign activities.
Voiceover from NPR reporter Larry Abramson:
"Schnur has to talk fast, because Obama is contemplating a Christmas list of programs that will reach from cradle to college"
The Greatest Scandal WSJ (editorial)
The profound failure of inner-city public schools to teach children may be the nation's greatest scandal. The differences between the two Presidential candidates on this could hardly be more stark.
Pearson want Obama win to boost education hopesThis is Money
Pearson today backed Barack Obama for the White House as it pinned its hopes on more education funding in the US.
Candidates’ K-12 Views Take Shape
As their education plans begin to crystallize, sharper differences are emerging between John McCain and Barack Obama.
Attack ad targets Polis for 'conservative ideas' on education RealVail, CO
And Polis was critical of No Child Left Behind, suggesting several ways to improve it. “There are a number of problems with no child left behind,” Polis ...
It’s pretty rare to go to an edu-wonk event here in Washington, D.C. and talk openly about the right of poor children to sit in classrooms alongside middle class ones. (The American Prospect)
A full room of education professionals, education association representatives, media, and other interested stakeholders turned out to hear Schnur and Graham Keegan outline their respective candidates’ education proposals. (National Indian Education< Association)
No matter who’s the next president, expect some scrutiny of schools of teacher education. (Inside Higher Education)
It was good to hear discussion about online learning and Clayton Christensen’s book, Disrupting Class, as part of the conversation. (California Dreamin’ by Rob Darrow)
It doesn't sound like we missed all that much, though perhaps there were drinks afterwards that no one is telling us about.
Mostly this was a campaign audition for Schnur -- who, it should be noted -- conveniently waited until the Democratic primary was over to make a public decision about supporting Obama.
Want to put on an event that would be really interesting? Get all the Obama supporter/surrogates in a room together and start asking questions about teachers, or charters. Make them debate each other for surrogate supremacy. Pictures via the NIEA.
On Monday I wrote about how Obama's education surrogates would have some chances to fly or flub things up this week at NCSL and at New America (More Chances For Campaign Surrogates
Flub It Up Duke It Out).
LDH you already know. New Leaders' Jon Schnur is debuting today.
But what about the new guy, Mike Johnston? Here's the profile post I did about him from May when his name first surfaced.
I don't think it's such a big deal that Obama is trying out a handful of different folks. Hell, he's apparently got 300 people working as foreign policy advisers. But I do think it's interesting who's getting -- or not getting -- the call, and that besides LDH they tend to skew younger and less traditional.
First, presidential candidate Barack Obama endorses the "residency" model of teacher training, which provides a year of intense clinical experience to teaching candidates before they take over a classroom.
Then, Obama brings on Linda Darling Hammond as a prominent advisor.
Now there's talk -- just talk, of course -- that LDH could be in line to be an Obama pick for Education Secretary.
My guess is that this would be fine with the teachers unions -- LDH hasn't been a sharp critic. More centrist and reform-minded Obama supporters will be enraged, but they don't really have anywhere else to go.
Like the bumper stickers say, "Dare to hope. Prepare to be disappointed."
Check out the results of a poll of the liberal bloggers known as the netroots, who just met recently (I think that teacherken was there). They hate education reform, too. College affordability gets a bare mention. Only the gap between rich and poor makes a decent showing. And that's not exactly school reform now, is it? As we're learning. Details below.
Danielle Gray (pictured) is the Deputy National Policy Director for the Obama campaign, who oversees Obama's education policy work.
Based out of Chicago, she's a Harvard law school grad (03) who's on leave from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.
Before that, she clerked for Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer October term 2005. She was a member of Obama's Senate campaign staff in 2004.
She was voted “most likely to be a Supreme Court Justice” by her HLS classmates. Duke for undergrad.
In addition, Obama has Heather Higginbottom as National Policy Director, and scads of education advisors -- LDH, Schnur, etc.
Any other tidbits or juicy gossip, let us know. What's her favorite drink? What's she really think of private school vouchers?
Politico just did a story about how campaign surrogates often seem to flub things up and get fired from their high-prestige but often unpaid jobs (Meet the seven super surrogates).
The flubs, if not the firings, have already taken place in education:
There's more education surrogate action to come this week, including Keegan vs. Linda Darling Hammond at NCSL on Wednesday, and Keegan vs. Schnur at New America on Thursday.
"And that's why I'll build on the success of the Harlem Children's Zone in New York and launch an all-hands-on-deck effort to end poverty in this country - because that's how we'll put the dream that Dr. King and Roy Wilkins fought for within reach for the next generation of children."
This is the bigger, broader effort that has been profiled in the Times Magazine and is the subject of Paul Tough's forthcoming book, Whatever It Takes.
The cover art may be offensive (or just dumb), but this week's New Yorker includes a long Obama profile by Ryan Lizza (Making It) that seems to confirm many of the things that I and other friendly critics have been saying for months now:
"Perhaps the greatest misconception about Barack Obama is that he is some sort of anti-establishment revolutionary. Rather, every stage of his political career has been marked by an eagerness to accommodate himself to existing institutions rather than tear them down or replace them."
Other notable tidbits: Obama's oft-touted accomplishments as a community organizer were, by his own admission, "extraordinarily modest." Obama recently refused to support Will Burns, a former aide and protege who is headed to the state legislature. Several of his onetime supporters like Toni Preckwinkle have become disenchanted with Obama's moves to the center.
For my April article about Obama's pragmatic role on education issues in Slate, go here.
Union Chief to Propose Wider Role for Schools NYT
Randi Weingarten...wants to replace President Bush’s focus on standardized testing with a vision of public schools as community centers that help poor students succeed by offering not only solid classroom lessons but also medical and other services.
Union election to be lesson on women's achievement Chicago Tribune
Over 20 years ago Randi Weingarten quit a cushy Wall Street lawyer's job to do legal work for the New York City teachers union. Wanting to know what it was like in the classroom, she took a part-time job teaching social studies at a largely black and Latino high school in Brooklyn.
'Education starts at home' Sun Times
Barack Obama collected the endorsement of the American Federation of Teachers Sunday and promised to fix "the broken promises" of the No Child Left Behind ...
Obama Courts Teachers Via Satellite NBC
The Illinois senator's language on the subject was likely to please teachers unions like AFT and NEA because he spoke about working "with" teachers to find ways to reward them rather than imposing a system "on" them.
Click here for a first-hand description of Obama's speech in front of the AFT convention in Chicago provided by contributor James Ewert, plus links to all sorts of mainstream coverage of the event.
What jumps out at me is that, even though the AFT national had come out for Clinton long ago, the AFT endorsement was so much stronger than it was at the NEA last week. This despite the fact that Obama's main points remained basically the same and he was basically touting charters as a key part of his reform plan.
It's also clear that Obama has decided that there's no point getting into hot water on vouchers, which he pretty much closes the door on (again) in this speech as he did last week. This despite his past "open-mindedness" in the past on the issue, which was so much fun for those of us who delight in his open-mindedness.
That's what some English-only groups are making out of Obama's recent remarks, according to this NYT story (McCain and Obama Speak Off the Cuff):
“Instead of worrying about whether immigrants can learn English — they’ll learn English — you need to make sure your child can speak Spanish,” he said. “You should be thinking about how can your child become bilingual. We should have every child speaking more than one language.”
Check out this National Review article (Battle for the ’Burbs), which analyzes the problems with current Republican strategy on education and proposes a new -- but not so easy -- course of action:
"The educational arms race is central to the lives of upper-middle-class suburbanites...[But] the real educational crisis for most suburban families is a crisis of affordability, in which home prices and tax rates in above-average school districts climb as ambitious parents struggle to give their children a leg up."
The proposed solution? Ditch vouchers, inter-district choice, or getting rid of local districts. Forget about charterizing the nation (too slow!). Instead, outflank those pesky liberals and push for charter-like school based budgeting (aka weighted student funding). Right, because that's gone down so easily.
Over at Politico, Richard Whitmire has a new column about politics and education called NEA Too Big For Its Britches:
"By dissing accountability, the NEA has drifted so far leftward that even the Rev. Al Sharpton has drawn a line in the sand...I’m just not sure the NEA has chosen the right side of history here, and I suspect Obama and Sharpton may be thinking alike."
Not all that interested in what Jesse Jackson said about Obama? Check out this interview with all four of the Obama family members, which the campaign immediately regretted doing:
Background and fallout here.
Chicago Magazine says that NOLA superintendent Paul Vallas might return to Illinois politics as a Republican candidate for Governor in 2010 (Schooling Democrats).
"Less important than which party you are running in is what you are running for," Vallas, now the schools superintendent in New Orleans, told Chicago in an interview. "I've been a lifelong Democrat, but when I ran last time, it's not like I had a lot of support from establishment Democrats. I had a huge number of Republican crossover votes from the suburbs."
Vallas ran and lost narrowly in the Democratic primary shortly after leaving the helm of the Chicago schools.
Get past the relentless Shankerosity of Rick Kahlenberg's latest piece in The American Prospect (How the Left Can Avoid a New Education War) and you'll see that Kahlenberg does a good job of unpacking some of the divisions within the center-left Democratic alliance that are flaring up around the Obama candidacy.
But I'm not sure if I see anything all that new in Kahlenberg's piece (besides the Shanker stuff), or any viable political strategy that might help Obama address these internal divisions any better than he already is (ie, supporting both manifestos and being for performance pay and charters but otherwise a regular Dem).
Longtime readers will remember that I've been writing about this division for years now, going back to "PovRacers and SchoolRefs." Amazing that the two groups putting out manifestos didn't do it on purpose and didn't even know about each other's plans.
"Whatever disappointments one has with Obama (and there are sure to be more to come) -- he unquestionably represents a leftward shift relative to the sort of national candidates the Democratic Party has been putting forward in recent cycles." --Matt Yglesias (To The Center)
Not unexpectedly, DFER's Joe Williams wants to put as good a face as possible on Obama's weekend satellite appearance in front of the NEA conventioneers, commending the candidate for not showing up in person. Nor did Obama pander to the crowd when he did talk to them (see previous post).
But Obama doesn't seem to be doing so well on other fronts, including the New York Times editorial page, which took a big bite out of him for his recent flops on campaign finance, FISA, and gun control (The New and Not Improved Barack Obama).
It's hard not to think that the guy might not "redefine" his positions on education issues at some point along the way, too, given these recent changes. That is, assuming that education issues ever seem important enough to warrant a change, which may not ever happen. So, charters and performance pay stay -- for now. Not because Obama's so enamored of the specific policy positions, however.
EIA's Mike Antonucci has the Obama speech to the NEA convention (via satellite):
Among other points (and hints at where the good parts on the video are), Antonucci says that Obama "took the bull by the horns" in talking about performance pay and charter schools (here). No flip-flop there -- in contrast to campaign spending.
Over at the USA Today politics blog, Greg Toppo reports in as well (Mostly cheers, but some boos too, when Obama addresses teachers) with some additional observations and news -- Obama's relatively low NEA endorsement vote total, for example. I want to know about Obama's sister, a teacher. There's a McCain update, too.
The New York Observer details the inclusion of several more Clinton campaign staffers into the Obama campaign -- and their potential impact on Obama's positions (Team Obama Goes Cherry-Picking).
The moves include Clinton policy director Neera Tanden, a health care specialist, who will report to Obama policy director Heather Higginbottom.
No word yet on the two names everyone wants to know about: Catherine Brown, Clinton's education staffer, and personal staffer Huma Abedin (pictured).
Will Clinton Education Folks Make It To Denver?
There's unconfirmed Internet chatter that Obama, slated for formal endorsement at this week's NEA convention, is either not going to appear or is merely going to make a satellite appearance. This is a far cry from his early reliance on teachers union support, especially in Illinois, and his appearance at previous conventions. EdWeek says he's going to talk on Saturday. The DCTA says they aren't sure. Pro-life groups who are planning to picket him at the convention are sure hoping he shows up. I don't really care, but thought I'd pass it on. No word yet from the Obama campaign, though I only asked them about it five minutes ago.
UPDATE: So much for Internet chatter. The press folks at the NEA say Obama will address the convention.
Last week, EDINO8 joined in with Al Sharpton and Joel Klein's education equity rollout.
This week, Margaret Spellings and former FL governor Jeb Bush endorsed EDINO8 (Presidential candidates urged to focus on schools).
Obama may not have gotten the AFT endorsement and only got official approval from the NEA very late in the game (two weeks ago or so). But he apparently got a lot of early support from his hometown AFT affiliate, the Chicago Teachers Union, which helped propel him into office in the first place. Now, some of the folks who helped make that happen are upset that Obama's union support is being stripped out of the Obama narrative.
Not that such a story helps Obama much -- he's trying to win independents at the center, not rally to his base. Most folks understand that. But the early support from the CTU is by most accounts what really happened, for whatever that's worth, and made a difference. And it is a familiar tale -- not just for Obama -- in which politicians woo the folks they need at a certain point, and then move on to whomever they need next.
Sisulu-Walker Charter School of Harlem school serves roughly 300 kids in K-4 -- part of Victory Schools' for-profit network of "19 public and charter schools serving approximately 7,000 children in New York, Philadelphia and Chicago."
Brave to have her visit what is obviously a front for indoctrinating little American children in the ways of Al-Quaida, I thought. Did you know? Mrs. Mcain has a BA in education and an MA in SPED.
Last week, I argued that the only really important thing about the two education position papers that were released was to wonder which one Obama would support (Which Manifesto Would Obama Have Signed?).
Now, EdWeek's Hoff does that journalist thing (making phone calls) and tells us that Obama supports both positions (2 New Coalitions Seek Influence on Campaigns).
We also learn that it was just coincidence that the highly organized education groups came out with big announcements one day apart from each other. Go, education groups. You make us proud to be working in the same field.
It's a brave and visionary position for a politician to take, siding with both sides. Few politicos do it so well as Obama. In so doing, Obama joins just one other figure, Chicago superintendent Arne Duncan.
Only in a really slow week could the education blogs have spent so much time debating two ultimately unimportant documents put out by different education coalitions -- or would New York Times columnist David Brooks have deigned to weigh in on the situation -- sort of.
In his Times column (Obama, Liberalism and the Challenge of Reform), Brooks uses the dual proclamations to ask the question we've all been asking about whether Obama is a reformer or not.
He notes the less reform-minded tone of Obama's more recent speeches, and that Obama's education plan is less extensive or detailed in the areas of accountability and teacher performance than in many other areas.
At this point, I think it's clear that Obama isn't really running as an education reformer anymore, which will please some supporters and trouble others.
He wasn't all that far right to start. He moved left to beat Clinton and will be pressured to move even further left to maintain the support of teachers and win in the general election. At that point, it'll be a mighty struggle for him to tack towards the middle again.
Which is too bad, because public education still needs a big kick in the pants if it's ever going to get the love support it wants.
One thing seems clear. No one's sure what angle to take on mobilizing the public for school reform. Yesterday, we had the "better, broader, bigger" folks from EPI, focused on early childhood and out of school factors. Before that, there was EDINO8, focused on standards and after-school and...I forget the rest.
Today, kicking off with a press even this morning,
we've got Al Sharpton and NYC's Joel Klein (among others), focused on equity and civil rights: Schools Chancellor Klein, Rev. Al Sharpton an odd pair in ... NYDN, Sharpton To Speak on Improving America's Schools Today
Check out the details below.
UPDATE: Maybe the confusion is understandable, given how diverse voters' education priorities are (Obama and McCain face tough task on “education reform”).
Senator Clinton's official withdrawal from the race means that her education folks -- formal and informal -- have to figure out what to do next (Hillary Clinton's Staff Looking for New Jobs). Many with Clinton ties have day jobs and can return to those (or never left them). Others like domestic policy honcho Catherine Brown may want to explore joining the Obama effort or at least becoming part of the overall Democratic campaign push towards the general. Denver isn't a bad place to be for the convention this summer. And some Clinton staffers have already been brought on board (Obama taps former Clinton aide for economy team). But it may not be so easy for Clintonistas to find a place in the Obama campaign effort, official or otherwise. There's remnant ill will, the reality that many policy positions have been set on the education front, and the underlying sense (not just in education) that Clinton-era, Clinton-affiliated ideas are not what Obama needs right now.