Longtime U.S. Department of Education official Joseph Conaty will take over as interim director of the Race to the Top now that Joanne Weiss is moving up the chain and becoming chief of staff to Education Secretary Arne Duncan. Conaty, who has served in many roles since coming to the department in 1987, is currently the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education's director of academic Improvement and teacher quality programs. He'll take over the post July 4 and will temporarily be in charge of both the high-profile $4 billion state competition, and the $350 million assessment competition. If you'll ...


When I talked to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan earlier this week about the transition in his chief of staff post, he talked about the broader shift in the department: from policy formation to policy implementation. Designing and executing the competitions around Race to the Top and the Investing in Innovation Fund are only a small part of the battle for the department as it pursues its reform agenda. Next comes implementation. States and i3 winners must make these reforms happen, and the department must hold them accountable. To that end, the department needs some outside help. For ...


Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act remains a goal for education leaders in Congress, but there's still no firm time frame.


Check out my interview with Margot Rogers, who is leaving her post as Arne Duncan's chief of staff after 18 months. She's giving up her Blackberry and hitting the beach for the summer before figuring out what's next. And given her extensive education policy background, Rogers should have no problem landing a plum gig. Her one big regret? Not sticking around to see ESEA get reauthorized. (But can anyone blame her for not waiting? Reauthorization might still be a long way off...)...


I'm sure you've heard by now that the White House, which some folks said wasn't going after the edujobs money with sufficient gusto, sent a letter, on a weekend no less, to congressional leaders asking them to please pass legislation to stave off what some warn could be 300,000 teacher layoffs. A couple of things to note here: *The version of the edujobs bill that passed the U.S. House of Representatives in December, was set to provide $23 billion, but the letter doesn't specify an amount. Still, published reports say this is an ask for $50 billion in ...


First it was Richard Simmons, getting Congress to exercise. Now Rachael Ray is lending her star power to the House Education and Labor Committee's effort to revamp school nutrition programs. Apparently, she thinks a bill introduced today by Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., the chairman of the committee, is yummo and delish. Ray, who participated up in a press conference on Capitol Hill today to roll out the legislation, asked the audience to imagine what it is like for a child to go hungry. "The difference an apple or a good school lunch makes to these kids ... it's more than just ...


The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which was a major force behind the stepped up federal accountability in the No Child Left Behind law, has tapped former U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings to serve as the new head of its education programs. In case you've been living under a rock, Spellings was a key architect of the NCLB law when she served as President George W. Bush's domestic-policy adviser. As secretary of education, she introduced substantial new flexibility into the law and also racked up some major international frequent-flyer miles. Spellings, who will be replacing Arthur Rothkopf, has ...


Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., a former Denver schools chief, who is said to be the administration's go-to guy on education issues, just dropped this bill aimed at helping states and districts build capacity to turn around low-performing schools. Unlike a proposal by Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., which would completely reject the administration's four turnaround models outlined in the School Improvement Grants, the Bennet proposal is more about training school leaders to do turnaround work and spurring more research on how to intervene in struggling schools. The bill would create a School Leadership Academy, which would be charged with developing a ...


She will leave the helm of the high-profile competition to take over as Education Secretary Arne Duncan's chief of staff.


The Senate education committee's panel on children and families will be examining a variety of issues affecting children's lives.


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