States are more dependent on the federal government for help in funding education than they have been in decades, education finance guru Michael Griffith told a crowd that mostly consisted of state policymakers at a forum at the Education Commission of the States conference in Portland, Ore. Federal spending on K-12 used to be around 8 or 9 percent, he said. Now it's about 19 percent. "When you're talking about driving policy, it's the golden rule, he who has the gold makes the rules," Griffith said. And even a tiny bit of federal funding can make a big difference. For ...


Rep. George Miller is taking a closer look at companies chasing federal school turnaround dollars.


U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan wasn't kidding when he promised school districts and states that the applications for the new Education Jobs Fund (created under the $10 billion edujobs bill) would be very quick and "streamlined." Less than a week after President Obama signed the edujobs bill, the application has been posted, and it is super straightforward. There is basically only one question: States have to specify whether they plan to distribute the funds through Title I or through their state education funding formula. (Except for Texas, which is special, and gets no choice in the matter. Texas ...


The Senate has already posted its version of the bill online, but the House has yet to reveal details of its version seven weeks after a subcommittee approved it.


Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., a former Denver schools chief and one of the Obama administration's go-to guys in Congress on education policy, beat back a primary challenge.


U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan told reporters today that he plans to implement a "streamlined" application process for states and districts to snag their share of the $10 billion education jobs fund. Duncan said he hoped to get the money out to districts and states "in a matter of weeks." "We feel a huge sense of urgency to get this money out the door," Duncan said. But he said the money would not necessarily alleviate state and district financial woes. "There's still unmet need out there," Duncan acknowledged. For "the vast majority of districts around this country, this ...


Congress today finally gave its approval to the education jobs package, which provides $10 billion to help states stave off layoffs and rehire teachers. The measure passed on a vote of 247-161. The next stop is for President Obama to sign the bill, which he has championed. Read more about the debate, and how the money will be used, here. The bill includes a nearly $12 billion cut to food stamps, a $50 million cut to Striving Readers, an adolescent literacy program, a $10.7 million cut to Ready to Teach, a telecommunications program for teachers, and an $82 million ...


Sometime in the next three weeks or so, the Michele half of this Politics K-12 duo will be taking a hiatus from blogging, and from Education Week. I'm expecting my first child at the end of August, and the real question is which will come first: baby, or Race to the Top Round 2 winners? This is really up in the air because last time, in Round 1, the winners were announced two weeks after the finalists made their in-person presentations to the judges. In this round, those presentations start this week, which would put an announcement of winners as ...


After announcing the 49 winning applicants for the $650 Investing in Innovation competition, the U.S. Department of Education has now put online the scores, judges' comments, and more details about each project. Trying to make sense of the numerical scores for the validation and development award winners is, at least for this blogger, an exercise in futility. And it's all because of a statistical process called "standardization." For me, the quest to understand the i3 scoring system began with this question: Did Saint Vrain School District really have the best application of them all? Because of the large number ...


In its biggest effort yet to influence education reform, the San Francisco-based NewSchools Venture Fund is launching its fourth fund, a $100 million investment to spur innovation in teacher preparation, school turnarounds, and charter-school management. The new fund is meant to help advance a new, federal agenda that's focused on innovation. In fact, just yesterday we learned about the 49 applicants who won $650 million in Investing in Innovation, or i3, grants. The i3 program is a new competition created by the economic-stimulus package and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Ted Mitchell, the CEO of NewSchools, told me ...


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