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 ...


Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., the top Republican on the House Education and Labor Committee—one of the key lawmakers the administration is trying to court in its push to renew the Elementary and Secondary Education Act with bipartisan support—said he's withholding judgement on the administration's proposal to make Title I funding contingent on states adopting college- and career-ready standards. "We'll see what that means" once more details are worked out, Kline told reporters yesterday. "In all of these cases, where we often get into a rub, is [who is setting the standards]. If the United States Department of Education...


Yesterday, I said that the House Committee on Education and Labor was likely to be able to come together on a bipartisan basis to embrace the proliferation of good charter schools. (This was also the very first hearing this year on the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.) And, as expected, there was a lot of praise for charter schools at the committee's hearing today and for the the potential of charters to serve as laboratories to improve public schools, tailor services to students with a range of learning needs, and emphasize subjects (like science) that sometimes get ...


Yesterday, we heard from governors who either praised the proposal to tie Title I money to rigorous college and career-readiness standards in a renewed Elementary and Secondary Education Act ... or said they were still "studying" it. But last night, the National School Boards Association put out its own statement. And that group is not happy with what it sees as federal "coercion" (Catherine Gewertz over at Curriculum Matters has more.) Meanwhile, David Shreve over at the National Conference of State Legislatures also told me he's worried about the feds stepping on what has been a state and local issue. It ...


So far, governors appear open to the administration's proposal to make receipt of Title I funds contingent on states adopting higher, more uniform college- and career-readiness standards, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said today.


As Lesli Maxwell over at State EdWatch previewed yesterday, President Obama today dropped another big clue as to how the administration wants to reshape the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. This is timely especially as congressional hearings in the House get underway on Wednesday, and as finalists for Race to the Top are expected to be announced next week. In order to qualify for billions of dollars in Title I money for disadvantaged students, states will have to certify that their math and reading standards are college- and career-ready. They can either do this by adopting the state-led "common core" ...


The state-led effort to adopt a common core of academic standards is getting a lot of back-up from the feds. And President Obama is expected to give the movement another shot in the arm tomorrow. Lesli Maxwell over at State EdWatch has the scoop....


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