Certain types of harassment rooted in sexual orientation or religious differences may be a federal civil rights violation, the U.S. Department of Education says.

The U.S. Department of Education held an edu-stakeholders meeting on Friday afternoon to chat about everything from early-childhood programs to Race to the Top. (Politics K-12 sits through these things so you can spend your Fridays at happy hour.) Education Secretary Arne Duncan kicked off the forum, saying the department is hoping to get about $300 million from Congress for a new early childhood education initiative. President Obama talked about early childhood education a lot on the campaign trail, saying he'd like to provide an additional $10 billion a year for the programs, but that money hasn't materialized. And ...

Way, way back in the spring of 2009, I talked to a very smart school superintendent, in Bentonville, Ark., who told me that the stimulus could be the worst thing ever for proponents of increased education spending. "I can hear Chester Finn now," Gary Compton said, referring to the president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute in Washington, who generally doesn't think that more money for schools equals better results. "We gave public education $100 billion and have ACT scores gone up? Have we closed the divide between rich and poor kids?' ... That's always your biggest fear, that this ...

The closely watched Delaware Senate contest scored another straight-to-YouTube moment yesterday.

The midterms are almost here! And education is starting to come up in some of the senatorial debates. Out in Nevada, Sen. Harry Reid, the Democratic majority leader, and GOP challenger Sharron Angle discussed the federal role for K-12. You can view their exchange on the Democratic-leaning Huffington Post. Angle said the Education Department makes "one-size-fits-all policy" that benefits no one and skims off money form schools. She said that schools have gotten worse since the department was established 30ish years ago. Reid calls the Department of Education "the Department of Energy" (oops!) but says Nevadans really rely on programs ...

Politics K-12 points out good reads from across the web, along with an education candidate whose name hints she might know the future of school reform.

Arne Duncan and the presidents of the national teachers' unions just announced plans for a summit to show the world that unions and managers can indeed get along. Really.

The NEA is stepping up its game with new ads designed to protect some vulnerable Democrats.

Come election night, most folks watching federal races will be paying attention to the big questions (Does the House of Representatives flip to Republican control? What about the Senate?) But there are some individual races that could also matter. A handful of Democrats on the House Education and Labor Committee are on the endangered list, or at least may have a tough fight ahead of them. While education may not be a signature issue in these members' races, their losses could alter the makeup of the panel, no matter who retains control of Congress. That could impact the issues they ...

Kerri Briggs, who served as the assistant secretary of elementary and secondary education under President George W. Bush, is now serving as the new program director of education reform for the George W. Bush Institute (which recently launched a big principal training initiative.) After leaving the department, Briggs served as state superintendent for the Washington, D.C. public schools, where she worked on the district's successful Race to the Top application. While serving in the department, Briggs helped implement the No Child Left Behind Act and she'll continue to work on "reform-based principles of accountability" at the Bush Institute, according ...

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