Obviously, this is the biggest news out of Congress this weekend. But, as we've mentioned before, a major change to the student lending program is hitching a ride with the health care overhaul. The most important details for K-12 folks are that a) the bill shores up and provides an increase for Pell Grants, which expand access to college for low-income students, and b) in shoring up the Pell program, this bill may indirectly help appropriations for other key K-12 programs, including new Obama priorities. The bill's supporters told me that if it didn't pass, they would have to find ...


Democratic leaders couldn't find enough savings through elimination of subsidized student loans to cover new pre-K, new community college program, and school facilities programs.


Maybe the senators were too busy dealing with health care and student loans to think of many zingers for U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan this morning, or maybe they really do like the direction of the Obama administration's blueprint for reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Either way, the tone of a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing at which Duncan testified on the administration's plan was surprisingly congenial, with key players (including Republicans) praising both Duncan and the draft. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, the committee's chairman, who also oversees the panel that deals with ...


So, the places to see and be seen tomorrow are the two Capitol Hill hearing rooms where U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will be taking questions from lawmakers on the House and Senate education committees about the ESEA blueprint. He'll start off in the Senate (at 10 a.m.) and move over to the House (at 2:30 p.m.) As I've said before, reaction from many groups has been generally positive (except, of course, the unions). But we haven't heard much from lawmakers, beyond canned statements (I guess they're busy with this), so the hearings should be ...


So I'm sure you're well aware by now that the Obama administration released its blueprint for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. You can check out our story here and take a look at the full document online here. When I made calls to get reaction for the story, what jumped out at me was the fact that, for the most part, lots of people seemed basically pretty happy with the general direction of the blueprint. (That wasn't the case nearly three ago, when Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., the chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, ...


Remember we told you that the student-loan bill might hitch a ride with the health-care bill through that wonky procedural mechanism known as budget reconciliation? Well, it looks like the administration and the chairmen of both the House and Senate education committees officially want that happen. But it's unclear whether the rest of Congress will go along with that plan or what the final loans package will look like, including whether some new education programs that would be created under the House version of the bill will be in the mix. Some background: Last year, the Congressional Budget Office (Congress' ...


It sounds like the Education Department is edging closer and closer to releasing its draft proposal on reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. And even though we haven't seen a comprehensive draft, a lot of the details have already been made public, either through announcements from the White House, the fiscal 2011 budget proposal, Race to the Top regulations, or U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan's speeches. For instance we already know that: *The Obama administration wants to replace the current metric for gauging student achievement—adequate yearly progress—with a system that measures whether students...


Last week, the House Education and Labor Committee kicked off its hearings on the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. And today, it was the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee's turn. As in the House, there was virtually no discussion of any of the major ESEA proposals the Obama administration has put forward so far, including tying Title I money to rigorous common academic standards and replacing adequate yearly progress with a new mechanism for gauging college-and-career readiness. There may be more concrete reaction next week. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is scheduled to testify next ...


After urging students and teachers to try to "change the world," federal school safety chief Kevin Jennings insisted Monday that conservatives' calls for his resignation haven't affected his visibility.


We've heard a bit about the process for reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in the House, while the Senate has been relatively silent on the issue. But it sounds like that could change tomorrow when the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee holds its very first hearing on renewing the law. The hearing's title? ESEA Reauthorization: The Importance of World-Class K-12 Education for our Economic Success. Sounds like they're starting out with an "economic competitiveness/job creation strategy," which makes sense from a messaging standpoint, given that in survey after survey, the public says it wants Congress ...


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