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 ...


The U.S. Senate today approved a long-stalled measure that would provide $10 billion to prevent what supporters say would be hundreds of thousands of teacher layoffs nationwide. The legislation also includes some $16 billion in Medicaid aid to states, which would indirectly help K-12 education since, without the Medicaid funds, states would have had to make cuts to other programs, likely including schools. Leaders of the U.S. House of Representative, meanwhile, are taking the unusual step of calling for lawmakers to return from their August recess next week to pass the final version of the bill. The House ...


Teach for America, KIPP, Ohio State University, and the Success for All Foundation were chosen for grants of up to $50 million under the federal Investing in Innovation program.


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., today said she will call the U.S. House of Representatives back next week to pass the Senate's version of the edujobs measure, which would provide $10 billion to help stave off teacher layoffs. The measure also includes $16 billion in additional Medicaid aid to states. The sooner Congress passes the legislation, the sooner the cash can begin makes its way to state and district coffers. The House was originally slated to return in mid-September, meaning the school year would already be underway before districts could be assured of the funding. The upshot: This almost ...


During a call with reporters in conjunction with the announcement of the Race to the Top Round 2 finalists, Education Secretary Arne Duncan touted the 26-point increase in average scores since the first round. Between the two rounds of competition, he said, "The movement we saw in terms of reform was extraordinary." Just how extraordinary was it? Well, to figure that out, we need to first figure out how the Education Department calculated this 26-point average increase. Officials there clarified for me that the 26-point average Duncan referred to was arrived at by comparing the average score of all Round ...


The Senate's version of a $10 billion education jobs package, which looked like it was on life support just a few days ago, has now cleared an important procedural hurdle, smoothing the way for final passage in that chamber. Senators today voted 61-38 to cut off debate on the measure, meaning that it can receive final consideration. The bill, which would provide aid to states to prevent what supporters warn would be thousands of teacher layoffs, includes some offsets to education programs, albeit not to key administration priorities, such as Race to the Top. The bill would trim $82 million ...


Remember we told you the Senate was slated to finally, finally vote on a $10 billion edujobs package tonight? Well, that didn't end up happening. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., the Majority Leader, pulled the legislation, which also included $16 billion in Medicaid aid for states, after a cost estimate found that the bill was not completely offset (meaning paid for) by cuts to other programs. The $26 billion piece of legislation would still have added about $5 billion in the deficit, according to an estimate by the Congressional Budget Office, a non-partisan agency that analyzes legislation. Moderate Democrats and some ...


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