April 2009 Archives

More on Miller the Money Man

Some folks in Eduland sound glad the department is bringing in someone with a background in management.

Stimulus Money Guy Named Deputy Education Secretary

Tony Miller, who has an extensive background in business, has been a key player in managing the stimulus money.

Live Blogging: The Common Standards Hearing

Reporter Alyson Klein brings you highlights of the back-and-forth as the House Education and Labor committee hears testimony on the push for common academic standards.

Live...From Politics K-12....It's the Education and Labor Committee!

I'm sure you want to hang on to every word of the House Education and Labor committee hearing tomorrow on common standards, featuring an all-star line up. Politics K-12 is going to experiment with brand-new software that will allow us to "live-blog" the event, meaning that I'll be bringing you the latest and greatest as fast as I can type it. See you back here tomorrow. UPDATE: Check out my live-blogging here....

Transparency Watch: ED's Lobbying Disclosures Now Online

Props to agency officials for the level of detail in their first report.

Rep. Mike Castle and the Third Rail of American Education

Rep. Mike Castle, R-Del., said yesterday that a system of national standards and assessments is "worthy of consideration" - an idea I'm sure he's likely to expand upon in tomorrow's hearing on the topic. Castle, a key member of the House Education and Labor Committee, made his remarks yesterday at a forum on the GOP and education. He was careful to make it clear that he's not 100 percent sold on the idea of national standards and tests, just that he wants to look into it. And, in a quick interview after the forum, he said that, even if he ...

House Education Committee: Don't Leave us Behind on Common Standards

On Wednesday, they'll hold a hearing on common standards. The witness list will feature some major players, but no one from the U.S. Department of Education.

The Ed. Dept.'s NCLB Strategy

An adviser to Arne Duncan says political strategy is behind the decision not to make more significant changes to Title I regulations.

Report Links Achievement Gaps to Economic Woes

From Guest Blogger Liana Heitin: Several big names in ed reform, including Education Secretary Arne Duncan and New York City School Chancellor Joel I. Klein gathered today to discuss a new McKinsey & Company report about the achievement gap’s impact on the economy. Although much of what was said about low-income and minority students lagging behind in achievement was old hat, the report did back up the cost of the gaps with estimated dollar signs. The researchers spoke of racial, income, and system-wide gaps, but emphasized that the international gap, which places the U.S. behind 24 other nations in ...

Duncan in the WSJ: Money as the Lever of Change

Education secretary Arne Duncan seems to be getting even tougher on states who may be playing financial shell games with their state stabilization fund money, declaring in an op-ed in today's Wall Street Journal: "If they divert money intended for education to noneducational purposes, we may deny future funding or even seek to recover misspent funds." While Duncan has certainly said he would deny future funding (e.g. Race to the Top funding), I'm hard pressed to remember when he's actually threatened to get the money back. In fact, in an edweek.org interview with him last month, I asked ...

California is the First on the First Round

So California is the big winner in the 50-state-sweepstakes of who is first to get the initial round of state fiscal stabilization money. The Golden State's Prize: Nearly $4 billion in stimulus money for schools. Actually, there isn't much of a contest here. States have already gotten a portion of the Title I and special education money they're slated to receive under the economic stimulus package. And although the process of applying for state stabilization money was a little trickier, the Department of Education promised a quick turnaround on the first batch of money. California was quickly followed by Illinois, ...

Arne Adds Two More Appointments

Still no deputy, but other appointments are starting to come fast and furious. The Department announced that Robert Shireman will serve as deputy undersecretary, and Massie Ritsch will be deputy assistant secretary for External Affairs and Outreach. Shireman's appointment shouldn't come to a surprise to anyone who has been following President Barack Obama's higher ed. policy. He had a huge hand in crafting those bombshell student loan proposals that came out as part of Obama's preliminary budget. Shireman founded the Institute for College Access and Success and the Project on Student Debt, a research and advocacy organization. And he was ...

Ed. Department Giving Up its Daily Latte, Going Through Its Seat Cushions for Loose Change

President Barack Obama has asked his cabinet secretaries to put their heads together to cut $100 million from their budgets. And so far, the Ed. Department has found almost $10 million in spare change. For one thing, the department is going to get rid of its full-time education policy attaché at the U.S. Mission to UNESCO in Paris. (Too bad, education policy experts who are owed a political favor, that woulda been a sweet a gig.) That will save $713,000. The Department will also make more employees share each printer, resulting in a savings of $6.7 million ...

Friday Reading List: National Standards, Bill Ayers, and Reaction to The Hoff's Departure

The Race to the Top is officially on, so says Michele in her piece on a big standards pow-wow in Chicago today. (And contrary to Sam Dillon's meandering piece on standards in the New York Times, Arne Duncan is not the first such federal official to make the call for national standards.) Alexander Russo appears to be quite broken up over the news that EdWeek's own David Hoff is leaving. Is John Easton, the new head of the Institute of Education Sciences, reform-y enough? Mike Petrilli at Flypaper debates himself. The budgetary "shell games" that Michele wrote about in this ...

UPDATED Personnel File: The Hoff Leaves EdWeek for Ed. Dept.

David Hoff is putting away his reporter's notebook and joining the U.S. Department of Education as deputy assistant secretary for communications services.

UPDATE Transparency Watch: South Dakota Gets a Gold Star (and Calif. too!)

Four states have submitted their stabilization fund applications to the feds, and only South Dakota puts their documents up prominently online.

Personnel File: Ex-San Diego Schools Chief Named Border Czar

Alan Bersin, a "border czar" under Clinton, is the former superintendent of the San Diego City Schools and former California Secretary of Education.

Shelton Takes a Top Innovation Job at U.S. Department

And he's already hard at work in his new role, signing on to a letter about the DC voucher program that is generating some push-back.

Arne Joins Celeb-Studded Story-Hour

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan read "Clifford Goes to Washington" on the storytime stage at the White House Easter Egg Roll.

Personnel File: Duncan Adds Another Legislator to his Staff

Colorado Senate President Peter Groff will lead the U.S. Department of Education's faith-based and community initiatives center.

Friday Reading List: Best Arne Headline of the Week

Before you head over to D.C.'s 9:30 Club to buy tickets for all upcoming events, so as not to miss another surprise appearance by Education Secretary Arne Duncan, check out these good reads.

VIDEO UPDATE: Ed Sec by Day, Indie Hipster Fan by Night

Yesterday morning, Arne Duncan was reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar to a bunch of preschoolers. Yesterday evening, he was rocking it out with Neko Case.

Transparency Watch: Dead Ends Along the Money Trail

An early test of the claim for "unprecedented" levels of transparency in spending the stimulus funding shows there's a long way to go.

Need Stimulus Spending Ideas? Think Early Childhood

Education Secretary Arne Duncan reminds states and districts that stimulus funds can—and should—be used to expand pre-K programs.

NSBA to Duncan: Mayoral Control Not the Answer

The National School Board Association says it's "firmly opposed" to mayoral takeovers and encourages Duncan to stick to his words on collaboration between school boards and city mayors.

UPDATED: Former Maine House Speaker Going to U.S. Ed. Dept.

A community college dean from Maine has been tapped to take on college- and career-readiness issues for the feds.

Obama Sparks a Belt-Wearing Trend at Florida High School

It's not clear yet whether the Obama administration's policies will be able to raise achievement, but the president has inspired some students to pull up something else: their pants.

Voucher Advocates Seize on IES Study

School choice advocates are high-fiving each other over an Institute of Education Sciences study that showed the D.C. Scholarship and Opportunity program has a positive impact on reading scores.

Duncan Defends Mayoral Control Before Tough Crowd

Education Secretary Arne Duncan tells school board members that the nation must put aside "adult issues" and focus on reform that can be hard to swallow politically.

Duncan to Speak to School Board Members Today

Education Secretary Arne Duncan to address nation's school board members today at 11 a.m. PST. Follow along at www.twitter.com/PoliticsK12.

Friday Reading List: Sharpton's Money Trail, and Who Isn't a Broad Prize Finalist

This week's not-to-miss education tidbits highlight curious contributions that connect to the Education Equality Project, and a curious omission from the list of finalists for a coveted prize for urban school districts.

John Easton to Lead Institute Of Education Sciences

The White House is turning again to Chicago to fill a key education post, this time for a leader of the Education Department's main research arm.

Community College Chief Named as Undersecretary

Martha J. Kanter, chancellor of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District, in Los Altos Hills, Calif., is Education Secretary Arne Duncan's pick.

Duncan Promotes Stimulus Funds at Maryland School

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said stimulus funding released today represents a "magical opportunity" to spread successful innovations across the country.

Title I Changes: Duncan Says What He Wants

Districts that have failed to make AYP could still be able to providing tutoring under NCLB.

Conditions on Stimulus: Teacher Evaluation, Charter Caps, and More

The new stimulus guidance centers on what data must be collected under the conditions of accepting money from the state stabilization fund.

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