So it looks like Congress will attempt to push through health care overhaul by using the procedural mechanism known as "reconciliation," which doesn't require a 60-vote majority in the Senate and generally deals with taxes and deficit reduction. Why does that matter for education? Well, if it happens, there's a good chance an important student lending bill that could become part of the broader legislative package. And, as folks who are following this will remember, that student loan bill would provide some major new money for early-childhood education programs and community colleges (including dual enrollment and early-college high schools). The ...


U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan plans to promise in a speech today to reinvigorate enforcement of civil rights laws in U.S. schools by issuing guidance and implementing compliance reviews.


Given Education Secretary Arne Duncan's statements yesterday that any one of the 16 finalists could win a coveted Race to the Top grant, it drives home the point of how important the in-person presentations will be later this month. After all, Duncan has said "very few"—as in less than half—will actually win these awards when they're announced in April. Apparently, the point spread is so close that these state presentations, in which teams of five will make their closing arguments to the peer reviewers, will determine who wins millions, and who leaves empty-handed. Based on my conversations...


The candidates will come to Washington later this month to make their pitches for part of the $4 billion pot of economic-stimulus grants.


Sing along if you know the words: U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan sketched out his proposal for revising the Elementary and Secondary Act today before the House Education and Labor Committee. Not only were there no new specifics, there were very few new phrases from the secretary. On including incentives in ESEA: Duncan said that under current law, there are "fifty ways to fail" but very few rewards for success. On common standards: "It's an idea whose time has really come." On accountability: We need to be "tight on goals" but loose on means. And although few folks ...


Can these ambitious states, if they win, really deliver on their Race to the Top promises? Especially if they get less money than they had banked on?


Politics K-12 has learned that states will get the official word on whether they make it as a finalist for Race to the Top at 11:30 a.m. Thursday. And the news will come via email. So, as you're filling out your own Race to the Top Madness bracket, Politics K-12—with a big assist from Teacher Beat's always-snarky Sawchuk and State EdWatch's Lesli Maxwell—offers up our own version of what those winning, and losing, emails will sound like. Dear (Insert Winner State Name Here), Congratulations! You are one step closer to having Arne Duncan show up at your...


Twenty-two Democratic senators from rural states are telling Secretary of Education Arne Duncan that he should make sure rural schools get a fair shot at all that competitive grant money the department is seeking in its fiscal year 2011 budget request. The senators hail from largely rural states, many of which are considered "red" or "swing" states in presidential elections, including Arkansas, Colorado, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. You can read the full letter here, but the important point is that the senators appear especially concerned that some of ...


My colleague over at State EdWatch, Lesli Maxwell, and I teamed up to put together our Race to the Top Madness bracket. We should know the finalists any day now. For more about the reasons behind our selections, check out Lesli's blog. In the meantime, here's our bracket predicting the finalists and the winners. Who would you cross off—or who would you add—if you did your own bracket?...


Even though this Associated Press story makes it sound like President Obama is making big news today with a school improvement plan, it's really old news. According to the story, he's using an America's Promise Alliance education event to tout the four turnaround models that are tied to acceptance of the Title I School Improvement Grants. We've written about this endlessly. And his news peg is that he now wants to devote some $900 million to it; again, we've already covered this, courtesy of EdWeek's Alyson Klein, as part of our budget coverage. Obama's scheduled to speak in just a ...


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