Rep. Mike Castle of Delaware, a longtime congressman and former governor with expertise in education issues, lost the GOP U.S. Senate nomination tonight to Christine O'Donnell, a tea party-backed marketing and media consultant. Castle's defeat means that Congress is losing a moderate GOP lawmaker with a long record on, and a lot of interest in, K-12 issues. Folks in Washington saw him as someone who could help the GOP and Democrats reach a consensus on thorny education issues. Just a few months ago, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan applauded him for helping to inform some of the ...


The president's back-to-school speech in Philadelphia makes no mention of the controversy surrounding last year's address to students.


The folks at the U.S. Department of Education have a good reason to break out the champagne today—all 49 of the highest-rated applicants for the Investing in Innovation grant program were able to secure the required 20 percent private match, the final hurdle to getting their federal i3 grants. It wasn't an easy process, as we wrote in this story. For instance, many of the winners were surprised that they didn't get more help from foundations that had signed up for the i3 registry, which was intended to help put grantees and private funders together. And many said...


There's a surprisingly hot primary going on in Delaware tomorrow that education policy folks should watch. Rep. Mike Castle, a moderate GOP lawmaker and one of the Big 8 lawmakers the administration is courting in its push to renew the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, is facing off against Christine O'Donnell, a marketing and media consultant for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate. Just a few months ago, Castle was expected to win this race (and the general election) without breaking much of a sweat. After all, Castle has held statewide office for years, first as governor and then ...


Congress may not be making adequately yearly progress towards the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, but that doesn't mean it's not on the minds of lawmakers who are locked in tight races for re-election. Case in point? Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., who has long been a critic of the current version of the law, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002. He introduced a whopping three ESEA-related bills over a two-day period. Feingold is fending off a tough re-election challenge from three GOP opponents, including plastics manufacturer Ron Johnson. (This poll has Feingold just 1 point ...


The U.S. Department of Education still ranks near the bottom of the list of big federal agencies when it comes to employee job satisfaction, at least according to a survey released last week by the non-profit Partnership for Public Service. But it seems that the department's employees are a tiny bit happier than they were on the same survey last year. Out of 32 large federal agencies surveyed about issues such as leadership effectiveness, work/life balance, and pay, the Education Department came in 30th. Last year, on the same survey, the department ranked 27th out of 30. Still, ...


Charter school advocates are dismayed that some charters may have a tough time tapping funds from the $10 billion Education Jobs Fund, which is meant to help stave off teacher layoffs. The issue? It's very complicated, but basically, it comes down to the fact that in some districts and states, some charter school teachers are employees of a charter management organization or an educational management organization, not a school district. "There's a lot of head scratching," said Brooks Garber, the vice president for federal advocacy at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. He said that over 1,000 charters ...


Some big name winners of Investing in Innovation Fund grants are still logging long hours, trying to secure their required 20 percent match before the Sept. 8 deadline.


Sean Cavanagh of State Ed Watch and I are holding a chat right now, until 3 p.m. on the Race to the Top competition. Ask us anything you ever wanted to know about the program and we'll try to get an answer for you!...


Rhode Island's governor has plans to use his state's share of the $10 billion in education jobs funding to help plug budget holes in other areas, not to save education jobs. Sound familiar?


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