New measure would include $23 billion to help save and create education jobs, on top of the economic-stimulus package which is already pouring more than twice that much state coffers for that purpose.


Some state officials have a sneaking suspicion that Race to the Top is an urban state's game and that has made some question whether they should apply, at least in Round 1. For instance, Vermont had originally planned to apply for Round 1 of the competition, but is now going to hold off for Round 2, Rae Ann Knopf, the deputy commissioner of education transformation and innovation, told me. That's why you won't see Vermont's name on the U.S. Department of Education's list of states planning to apply in the first round. The state decided to sit out the ...


Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Education released a list of 36 states that plan to apply for Race to the Top Fund grants in Round 1. I blogged about this, making clear that the department's list wasn't necessarily the final word on Round 1 applicants for the economic-stimulus money. And, indeed, it's becoming clear that several states that did not file their letters of intent do plan on applying in Round 1. Thanks to those who left comments, or called me, to fill me in on their states' plans. Informally, it seems that North Carolina, Rhode Island, and Michigan ...


The U.S. Department of Education has posted a list of 36 states that have signaled they plan to apply for a $4 billion Race to the Top grant in Round 1. To figure out how many peer reviewers they need, the Department apparently asked states to send them a letter if they intend to apply in Round 1. This doesn't mean these states will apply, nor does it mean states that aren't on this list won't necessarily apply, but it certainly is a good indication. Round 1 applications are due January 19; Round 2 will be due June 1. ...


Congress has now given final approval to the long-delayed education spending bill for fiscal year 2010. If you leave out the stimulus, there was basically flat funding for most education programs, plus a huge boost for some Obama administration priorities. (School districts that want to try out merit pay will be especially psyched about a huge increase for the Teacher Incentive Fund, bringing the program to $400 million, up from just under $100 million last year). But most of the major work, including huge increases for Title I and students in special education, was taken care of in the stimulus. ...


After listening to the second half of the U.S. Department of Education's Race to the Top technical seminar, it's clear that there are many, many state-specific circumstances for which state teams want answers. South Dakota asked if Indian-chartered schools count as charter schools. Hawaii officials had a few questions about how the application applies to them since they have a single state-run school district. New Hampshire wanted to know if its existing New England consortium on common standards counts as much in earning points toward a grant as the larger Common Core effort. Such are the challenges for Race ...


I spent the morning in a U.S. Department of Education technical-assistance planning seminar on Race to the Top, and have picked up a lot of interesting tidbits. Many states are in attendance—including Hawaii, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Dakota, and Tennessee (including education commissioner Tim Webb), just to name a few. Interestingly, Texas is also in attendance, I'm told. The seminar will continue well into the afternoon, but so far, here are the insights I've picked up about this $4 billion competition: Race to the Top Director Joanne Weiss emphasized that there will be a lot of losers in Phase...


Remember that long-delayed fiscal year 2010 spending bill, which was approved by the House of Representatives, and by the Senate Appropriations Committee, both in July? The measure was never considered by the full Senate, but December is crunch time, so a House and Senate conference committee decided to skip that step last night and approved a compromise version of the bill. Now the measure is expected to be voted on by the full House and full Senate so it can go to President Obama for his signature. If you've been following our coverage, you probably know that one of the ...


I'm sure you've heard by now that many states are still having to lay off teachers and cut programs, despite $48.6 billion in aid to help shore up state budgets in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Well, there may be more federal relief coming down the pike. Congressional leaders and the Obama administration are considering increasing aid to states and localities to prevent layoffs as part of a new "jobs package". (They're not using the term "second stimulus," but it sounds kinda like that to me.) Obama laid out the plan in a speech today. He also highlighted ...


He only wrote once for Politics K-12 that I can dig up, but Sean Cavanagh's departure from Education Week is a big loss. He may have been the newspaper's specialist in covering math and science, and its prolific Curriculum Matters blogger, but he had a knack for politics, too. After all, who could argue that there aren't politics involved in the common-standards movement, which Sean has been faithfully tracking. Think squabbles between education advocacy groups, and questions about the openness of the process. That's not even factoring in the politics involved in states' own standards setting process. Think of Texas ...


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