Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced today that 19 finalists, including surprise picks Hawaii and Arizona, will compete for a cut of $3.4 billion in Race to the Top, Round Two.


The finalists for the Race to the Top Round 2 competition are supposed to be announced on Tuesday by Education Secretary Arne Duncan during a 1 p.m. speech to the National Press Club, which you should be able to watch via webcast through the club's website. The Education Department is expected to issue a press release about the same time. Of course, stay tuned to Politics K-12 for the latest. Together with my colleague Lesli Maxwell, from State EdWatch, we've come up with our guesses for who will make the cut for Round 2 and a chance at some ...


Seven leading civil rights groups are calling on U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to dismantle core pieces of his education agenda.


Back when it was looking like Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, was going to trim unspent funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to pay for edujobs, I thought it was pretty likely he'd take money out of the $650 million Investing in Innovation or 'i3' Fund. Instead, he ended up targeting the $4.35 billion Race to the Top Fund. The i3 fund, which is meant to scale up promising practices, seemed like a good target because it hasn't had nearly as high a profile as Race to the Top, which President ...


The education blogsphere has done a good job picking apart the weaknesses in Michael Winerip's New York Times story about a persistently low-performing school in Vermont that had to replace its principal to qualify for federal school-improvement grant money, even though it seems most everyone thought Joyce Irvine was doing a great job. The story highlights the potential weaknesses of a one-size-fits-all federal approach to turning around low-performing schools in states and districts. Replacing a principal, which is required in most cases by federal regulations, is not a sure-fire solution to turning around a school, especially in rural and other ...


You think getting the edujobs bill through the U.S. House of Representatives was hard, what with the whole Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., versus the Whithe House thing, and the veto threat, and the Polis letter? Well, that was a cake-walk compared to what is likely to happen in the Senate. Over at This Week in Education, Alexander Russo has a headline saying that the bill is "dead." I think that's probably premature, although it's true that gaining support for increased domestic spending, controversial offsets or not, in the Senate is and was always gonna be tough sledding. Still, the ...


Financial disclosure forms that top members of the Executive Branch fill out are meant to shed light on, or even prevent, any conflicts of interests by forcing key officials to reveal their assets, gifts, and past jobs. These things rarely yield anything too interesting (although this year we learned that President Obama's dog, Bo, a gift from the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, was valued at $1,600). But in the interests of keeping you all informed about the goings on at the Education Department—and so that officials know we do read these forms—I present to you the calendar...


The Obama administration's centerpiece education reform program would get $800 million in fiscal 2011 under a bill approved by a House appropriations subcommittee.


Melody Barnes, who works on K-12 issues at the White House, told reporters today that President Obama really, really wants to see money to help save education jobs. But the president doesn't want it to come at the expense of his education redesign priorities. "We don't have to make a choice between reform and making sure that teachers will stay in the classroom," Barnes said on a media conference call in which the administration worked to get out the message to reporters that Congress should a) pass edujobs, and b) use something other than top White House education initiatives as ...


After getting pushback from local education advocates who have been feeling left out of the school turnaround process, Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced today that districts will be required to involve parents and the community as a condition of receiving school improvement grants. In a speech to the NAACP in Kansas City, Mo., Duncan said he would change the administration's ESEA draft to acknowledge the key role that communities play in turning around persistently failing schools. Even members of Congress have been critical of the lack of community involvement in the Education Department's four required models that are attached to $4...


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