If you think Education Secretary Arne Duncan and his staff don't read the comments on their ed.gov blog, then think again. As part of Duncan's Listening and Learning Tour, which will take him to at least 15 states in town-hall style meetings on education reform, the department has launched an online conversation asking for comments. A comment about raising academic standards from a high school world history teacher in Princeton, Texas—Kyle Brenner—must have resonated with the education secretary. Enough so that Mr. Duncan called Brenner today to talk about his post. So if you leave a comment, ...


Texas and Wyoming are among the eight states that still haven't submitted their stabilization fund applications.


Another stimulus package could very possibly be Coming Soon to a Congress Near You, at least if Warren Buffett has his way.


The brand-new top Republican on the House Education and Labor Committee, Rep. John Kline of Minnesota, said this morning that he's not wedded to the idea that states should test their students in reading and math once a year in grades 3-8. In fact, he thinks that states should get to decide how often to test kids and in what grades. Obviously, that would be a "bombshell" change to the No Child Left Behind Act, since those tests are at the center of its accountability system. Kline wasn't in Congress when the law was passed, back in 2001. He said ...


Moderate Senate Democrats are embracing Obama's education reform agenda. Are "status quo" members of Congress not?


In a head-to-head match-up, Arne Duncan's student-aid announcement loses to the South Carolina governor's announcement of his South American escapade.


From guest blogger Erik Robelen: As careful readers of this blog will recall, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today was going to roll out the administration’s plans to simplify the federal college-aid application process during the White House press briefing. He did so this afternoon, and was joined by IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman. “The debate about how to simplify FAFSA [the Free Application for Federal Student Aid], I think, has been going on for over 20 years. So this change is long, long overdue,”said Mr. Duncan. Some of the changes are already in place, while others will be ...


Tomorrow, the U.S. Department of Education will announce plans to help simplify the process for applying for federal student aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It may not sound like a particularly sexy issue, but a lot of experts think the FAFSA has been a major barrier to student access. In fact, 40 percent of college kids never even file the form, even though most of them are eligible for some form of student aid. (The Chronicle of Higher Education has some excellent background here). Duncan's plan has three main elements. It would: 1) Rework the ...


The White House Office of Management and Budget last night released guidance for states on how to calculate the impact of stimulus dollars, including how recovery dollars are being spent and how many jobs have been saved. You can read the guidance for yourself here. One state official I talked to said she finds the guidance confusing, as least as it applies to education. Betsy Carpentier, deputy superintendent of innovation and support in South Carolina, called the reporting requirements confusing and "pie in the sky". One of her chief complaints? The OMB doesn't explain how to calculate jobs saved that ...


The symbol of the Bush administration's signature school reform law has been dismantled, signaling the end of an era.


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