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.

So tonight, some very lucky students in Kalamazoo, Michigan are going to have their commencement address delivered by none other than President Barack Obama. And although I doubt Obama will talk much about union side deals and other education policy inside baseball, it's not surprising that the administration is using the hoopla surrounding the speech as an opportunity to tout its progress on major education redesign achievements - and to lay some groundwork for the administration's priorities as Congress begins to consider the fiscal year 2011 education spending bill. Chief on that list? The competition for a slice of the $4...

Florida's Race to the Top application and the so-called side deals that districts and unions are entering into on their own—outside of the official application—are raising some eyebrows among education policy wonks. It's really unclear just how problematic these side deals might be to the spirit of the Race to the Top competition in Florida, but they sure do raise a lot of questions. Eduwonk, Sherman Dorn, State EdWatch, The Washington Post's Answer Sheet, and this blog have all explored the ramifications of these side deals. Now, the U.S. Department of Education is weighing in late Friday...

My colleague Lesli Maxwell highlighted over at State EdWatch a disturbing trend in Florida, where some districts and their local teachers' unions are signing side deals that seem to fly in the face of the spirit of the Race to the Top competition. Intrepid St. Pete Times reporter Ron Matus first wrote about the issue here, and has since uncovered more side deals. UPDATE: Blogger Sherman Dorn writes this is much ado about nothing—that the MOUs districts signed and these side deals are really quite similar. Florida improved its round two application by getting 54 local unions on board...

K-12 education is likely to face the chopping block in fiscal year 2011 amid slack revenues, says a survey by the National Governors Association and the National Association of State Budget Officers.

Fewer states applied this time around for the $3.4 billion left in the Obama administration's signature education-reform competition. First-time applicants for the grants, which will be doled out late this summer, include Maryland, Nevada, and Washington.

As we wait for the official tally of entrants into round two of Race to the Top, join me at for an online chat today at 3 p.m. Eastern featuring Steven Brill, who recently penned two pieces on Race to the Top and will take your questions. His main piece, in the New York Times Magazine, examined the overall effect Race to the Top is having on the country's education reform dynamic, particularly on the relationship policymakers have with teachers' unions. He wrote a companion piece for Edweek that delved into the wonkiness of the 500-point grading ...

Even though the $23 billion education jobs bill faltered yesterday in Congress, proponents aren't giving up on a measure which public school advocates say is desperately needed to forestall draconian teacher layoffs nationwide.

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