Rep. George Miller told my colleague Alyson Klein that the economic stimulus package would make it easier to reauthorize NCLB. By putting money on the table for schools, President Obama has demonstrated that he is going to be serious about fully funding the law, the chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee argued. What he didn't mention is that the short-term financing measure will require that states and districts to prove that they are meeting important goals and providing significant supports required under NCLB. As Charlie Barone says, states have some "real work" to do. To qualify for a ...


After the economic-stimulus bill left the U.S. House of Representatives, education programs lost money. Except for one. Funding for the "school improvement grant" program under NCLB's Title I fell to $1 billion in the Senate bill from $2 billion in the House bill. But in the final version, it's up to $3 billion. For a complete breakdown, see page 168 of the bill language on the House Appropriations Committee Web site. The additional money for school improvement came at the expense of Title I grants to districts. Funding for those grants fell by $1 billion, to $10 billion in ...


Secretary of Education Arne Duncan spent this morning at a Northern Virginia school promoting the need for school construction money in the economic stimulus package. Yesterday, though, he spoke to the American Council on Education's annual meeting and discussed an issue that may be important for the next version of the NCLB. If we accomplish one thing in the coming years—it should be to eliminate the extreme variation in standards across America. I know that talking about standards can make people nervous—but the notion that we have 50 different goal posts is absolutely ridiculous. A high school diploma...


One inquiring mind asked me this week why this blog has been dark for three weeks. The simple answer is: NCLB hasn't been in the news. Everything has been about the stimulus. Until last Thursday. At the American Enterprise Institute, Rick Hess and Mike Petrilli held an event discussing a paper on NCLB. Their thesis is that George Bush compromised his conservative principles by including liberal ideas in NCLB. As Yogi Petrilli helped us envision in a guided meditation (you had to be there), the public response to the law would have been completely different if it hadn't set the ...


Over at the Quick and the Ed, Robert Manwaring asks an important question about the Title I money in the stimulus package: How would cash-strapped districts comply with the program's "supplement, not supplant" rule? As I pointed out yesterday, the stimulus bill would give Title I $13 billion—almost as much as it received in fiscal 2008. The rule is designed to ensure that districts aren't using federal dollars to offset state and local cuts. That doesn't appear to be possible in the current fiscal climate and may require some "fancy accounting" if the rule is in effect for stimulus...


Alyson Klein provides an extensive summary of the $100 billion for education in the Democratic economic stimulus package. You also can read the House Appropriations Committee's 13-page summary. Three things to note about NCLB: 1.) The package would give $13 billion for districts in the Title I program. That's almost the same as the $13.9 billion the program received for all of fiscal 2008. Under NCLB, the program was authorized to receive $25 billion in fiscal 2007—the last year the law provided an authorization level for its programs. 2.) The stimulus bill also would set aside $300 million...


In The Washington Post today, Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings tells her prospective successor to keep NCLB. If you've heard her speak in the past two years, you wouldn't learn anything new. Test scores are up, she writes, especially among poor and minority children. The backlash against NCLB's accountability rules, she writes, "speak[s] to the harsh truths it reveals." NCLB can be improved, she says, and she's all for it. But she doesn't want to undermine its "core accountability provisions," she writes. She doesn't say it, but from past statements, she probably means the goal for universal proficiency by ...


Joel Packer, the NEA's spokesman on NCLB, is getting ready to end his tenure at the union after 25 years. Packer announced to NEA staff earlier this week that he would leave the union at the end of April. In a phone conversation with me today, he said it was time to do something new. He expects to remain active in the education policy world. He said he may start his own advocacy firm, or he may join another organization or lobbying firm. He says he'll decide once he leaves NEA. As the NEA's director of policy and practice, Packer ...


Has NCLB improved the targeting of money toward low-income students? I went round and round and round on that question with John See, Kevin Carey, and Michael Dannenberg back in December 2007. All of it was based on the reporting for this story. I think the answer we came up could be summarized by saying: Yes, but not by much. This week, the Department of Education released a report reinforcing that conclusion. In "State and Local Implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act: Volume VI—Targeting and Uses of Federal Education Funds," the American Institutes for Research reports that ...


In addition to President George W. Bush's speech and Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings' "Great Expectations" document, the Bush administration has released a series of policy announcements on the 7th anniversary of NCLB. • Spellings has approved the growth models of Colorado, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Texas. Now, 15 states are using the growth models. •Spellings has added Arkansas, Louisiana, and New York to the differentiated accountability pilot program. That brings the total number of states to nine. (No link available yet.) •Spellings has sent every state an update on where they stand on the "cornerstones" of NCLB: Testing, accountability,...


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