October 2009 Archives

VP Biden on Stimulus: 325,000 Educator Jobs Created or Saved

The first quarterly reports that detail these jobs numbers are now online at Recovery.gov, with state-by-state breakdowns of jobs saved and where the money has gone.

The Politics of Stimulus Reporting

The first quarterly reports from states on how they spent their stimulus funds will be out tomorrow, and all sides will be scrutinizing the data, especially numbers on how many jobs were saved.

The Quotable Tony Blair, on Education

Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who appeared with the former British Prime Minister, did suggest borrowing the idea of "knighthood" to raise the prestige of the teaching profession.

Spec. Ed. Stimulus Dollars: This Issue Isn't Going Away

Way back in the spring, my colleague Christina Samuels wrote this story about how the U.S. Department of Education is taking a hard line with districts that aren't meeting the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Apparently, districts that aren't in compliance with the IDEA have to make sure they target special education dollars made available under the stimulus package to improving their programs for students with disabilities. They can't reduce their own contributions, as they normally would be able to under the law, now that the federal share has increased. It's a very complex, technical issue, ...

Off Year Elections and ESEA Renewal

If you haven't already, you should check out my colleague Erik Robelen's story about education in this off-year election. He points out that the very tight races for governor in New Jersey and Virginia will help shed some light on how well the Democratic brand is faring, now that the party is in charge of practically everything and the economy is still slumping. The New Jersey race is close, according to these recent polls. And the GOP has an edge, according to this one from Virginia. Although it might not seem so on the surface, those gubernatorial races may matter ...

Ed. Dept. Press Office Shuffle

John White is moving from press secretary to rural outreach; deputies Sandra Abrevaya and Justin Hamilton will now share the press secretary title.

What's on Arne Duncan's Lunch Tray?

As the Education Secretary promotes fitness and nutrition, these onion rings likely wouldn't make his healthy foods list.

Are Obama and Duncan Pursuing the Right School Strategies?

A former Obama education adviser offers skepticism of the President's education strategy.

How Big Is the Stimulus Funding Cliff?

$16.5 billion. That's the amount of money that 36 states combined will need to find, somewhere, to get back to their 2008 K-12 funding levels after stimulus money runs out. That amounts to about 10 percent of these 36 states' combined budgets, according to my own calculations of figures presented in a White House report out yesterday on the impact of the stimulus package on education jobs. This is the funding cliff that states and school districts have been warned about. States will need to replace this money at a time when the national economy only now is showing ...

White House: Stimulus Saved 250,000 Education Jobs So Far

This is a preview of what the public will see when the first quarterly stimulus reports are made public on Oct. 30.

53 House GOP Members Call for Jennings' Resignation

So the Kevin Jennings controversy is just not going away. The latest? A group of 53 House Republicans has signed a letter to President Barack Obama calling for Jennings, who heads up the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools at the U.S. Department of Education, to resign. The letter, which is posted here, reads in part: The totality of Mr. Jennings' career has been to advocate for public affirmation of homosexuality. There is more to safe and drug free schools than can be accomplished from the narrow view of Mr. Jennings, who has, for more than 20 years, ...

Duncan to State Board Members: I Want To Be a Partner, Not the Boss

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is giving a speech tomorrow at the National Association of State Boards of Education that will focus on the state-federal role in education. The issue has flared up recently, particularly in the department's handling of the $4 billion Race to the Top program, which is meant to reward states for making major progress in certain areas, including standards and assessments, teacher quality, data systems, and turning around low performing schools. Some folks say this is a lot of federal direction, even for a voluntary program. But in the speech, Duncan will explain that ...

Stimulus Funding Cliff Is a Reality

New tax data shows that as the national economy shows signs of recovery, states are still in big, big trouble.

Duncan to CA: Don't Count Your Race to the Top Funds Yet

Education Secretary Arne Duncan wants states to remember there are other competitive grant funds the department will award.

Rep. Mike Castle to Run for Senate

So I'm sure all you politics geeks out there have heard by now that Rep. Mike Castle, a Republican, is going to run for the Senate seat in Delaware that became vacant when Sen. Joseph R. Biden, Jr. became Vice President Joe Biden. Sen. Edward E. Kaufman, a Democrat, is keeping the seat warm for now, but no one expects him to stick around. Although the initial statements from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee play up some of Castle's more conservative stances, he is generally considered a moderate's moderate. In fact, after the Dems took over Congress in 2006, Democratic ...

Nevada Says No Dice to Race to the Top Funding

As California moves to eliminate its data firewall, Nevada isn't budging.

Racing to the Top in the Centennial State

Colorado is taking the community buy-in part of the grant application very seriously.

Can We Reach Consensus on 'Race to the Top' Abbreviation?

Vote for your favorite: RTT, RTTT, or RttT.

Timing on Race to the Top Applications: Still Fall

Despite any rumblings to the contrary, there will still be two rounds of competition--and apps will be out to states in the fall.

Innovation Grants: Prepare to Show Evidence and Matching Funds

Ideally, the Department wants i3 grant applications to demonstrate 20 percent private sector matching funding.

Look for More Details on Innovation Grants Today

While waiting for details from a 2 p.m. media call on i3, check out Duncan on Colbert last night.

Heads Up: Arne Duncan on Colbert Show Tonight

Watch Comedy Central at 11:30 p.m. EDT.

Friday Reading List: ESEA Renewal Coming Soon to a Congress Near You

Happy Friday! Check out these good reads: The always-vigilant Eduflack reports on the time-line for reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, aka No Child Left Behind. Apparently, it's coming sooner than you think. Edweek's own Steve Sawchuk of Teacher Beat fame reports on the House Education and Labor Committee's hearing on teacher quality. Apparently there were some back-and-forth between Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., the panel's chairman, and NEA President Dennis Van Roekel, plus some bipartisan support for the Teacher Incentive Fund, which doles out grants for performance pay programs. Check out the hearing for yourself here. Speaking of ...

Jennings on Defensive Over Old Comments to Gay Student

Kevin Jennings, was appointed to his job at the helm of the U.S. Department of Education's office of safe and drug free schools more than three months ago, amid criticism from some socially conservative groups that sought to derail the appointment. Now, some controversial statements he made years ago to a gay student are stirring up those critics once again. Warren Throckmorton, a conservative psychology professor at Grove City College in Pennsylvania, and an independent blogger, recently posted an audio interview on his Web site, in which Jennings recounts that while he was a high school teacher he told ...

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