Take a look at the challenges and accomplishments of all 12 winners of the original Race to the Top grant competition in this handy chart.
The U.S. Department of Education is planning to give applicants a leg-up in competitive grant programs if their proposals mesh with the goals of the Obama administration's interdepartmental "Promise Zone" initiative, which is aimed at helping revitalize high-poverty communities.
The federal government asks for a lot of data from schools of education, but some at a U.S. Senate hearing questioned if it helps prospective teachers prepare for the classroom.
The House education committee had lots of praise for a bipartisan U.S. Senate bill on child care, but leaders are skeptical of new spending.
The report says the federal grant competition helped states beef up teacher training and college and career-readiness programs, but contains little hard data and ignores Race to the Top hiccups.
School turnarounds and new policies for school meal programs were among the issues highlighted at urban educators' annual legislative conference in Washington.
Even states that won multimillion Race to the Top grants are having trouble supporting foundering schools.
Negotiations have restarted on the Education Sciences Reform Act, a child-care bill sailed through the Senate, and a bipartisan charter school bill is in the works.
Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., the chairman of the House education committee, said recently that he will be pouring new energy into a perennial priority: Bolstering funding for special education.
Overall, states have made great progress in a short amount of time, but there have been bumps in the road, according to a report by the Center for American Progress, a think tank in Washington.