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Top Ten Politics K-12 Moments of 2010

Happy Almost New Year everyone!

When you're ready to take a break from returning those unwanted holiday gifts and buying champagne for New Year's Eve, check out these top ten ed politics moments of 2010:

10) Hawaii and Maryland are awarded with second-round Race to the Top grants by department officials who either a) didn't want to travel very far to monitor the grants or b) figured if they did have to travel far, it may as well be to someplace really awesome.

9) The Department gives $50 million Investing in Innovation grants to Teach For America and KIPP, in the absolute biggest unsurprise ever.

8) The Elementary and Secondary Education Act is not reauthorized, despite the administration's Very Special Limited Time Offer for Congress, as proposed in the 2011 budget request (Act Now and we'll let you give us another $1 billion for K-12! Hurry! While supplies last!)

7) Teaparty candidates saw how well the idea of getting rid of the Department of Education worked in 1981 and 1995, and decide to remake that movie.

6) Pre-K advocates, who were promised $10 billion annually during the presidential campaign and so far have ended up with zilch, got yet another Charlie-Brown-and-Lucy with the football moment when Congress yet again failed to pony-up for the Early Learning Challenge Fund.

5) Aspiring education big wigs learn that they must double check all budget numbers and show their work on federal applications if they want to keep a state chief job in New Jersey.

4) Also, they learned, if you want to help your boss win re-election, maybe don't appear on the cover of a national magazine scowling and holding a broomstick.

3) Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., feeling that edu-journalists must be running out of fuel for the whole-split-in-the-Democratic-party-over-education story line, helps us out by introducing this appropriations bill cutting all of Obama's greatest K-12 hits, like Race to the Top, the Teacher Incentive Fund, and charters, to pay for a fund to help save teachers jobs.

2) "Ha! We were just kidding about those memorandums of understanding! We're not really going to do any of that stuff!" say districts in some states that won Race to the Top.

1) Michele McNeil returns from maternity leave to Politics K-12 and Education Week! (Okay, this is technically slated for January 2011, but we are really, really excited to have her back on the blog!)

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