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Timing on Race to the Top Applications: Still Fall

The U.S. Department of Education has been vague about when the revised Race to the Top regulations will be done, and when applications for states will be available. Fall has been the consistent answer. And it still is. Keep in mind, though, that fall technically stretches well into December.

Well, this vagueness is giving the department some headaches.

Consider this blog post by former Gates Foundation education guru Tom Vander Ark last month, who passed along rumors that Race to the Top would be consolidated into one round from two.

And now, in California, where there's a bill awaiting the governor's signature that would eliminate a teacher-student data firewall that stands between the state and a piece of the $4 billion fund, a story from a subscription-based online resource called the Cabinet Report is circulating implying that the Race to the Top timing has been pushed back.

The Education Department assures me there are still going to be two rounds of Race to the Top, and that the final regulations will be done sometime in the fall.

The hold-up is that not only did the department get more than 1,000 comments on its Race to the Top guidelines, but federal bureaucracy (notably the arduous OMB clearance process), is at work.

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