Education Secretary Arne Duncan challenged charter school operators to play a hands-on role in turning around the nation's 5,000 lowest-performing schools.


Duncan's speech on turning around low-performing schools kicks off the national charter schools conference on Monday.


It's going to be story-hour at 400 Maryland Ave. - all summer long. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is planning to read to kids on the lawn of the U.S. Department of Education on a regular basis throughout the summer. (Suggest your favorite children's classics in the comments section). He may even be joined by other cabinet secretaries from time to time. The program is part of the White House's Summer of Service initiative, "United We Serve" which kicks off on Monday, and runs through Sept. 11. Duncan's cabinet colleagues are getting in on the act too. For instance, ...


The AP's Libby Quaid has an interesting story about how Education Secretary Arne Duncan has put in writing a threat we've heard before: that if states play shell games with the economic-stimulus money intended to help stabilize their budgets, they may be at a competitive disadvantage when it comes time to award the $5 billion in competitive stimulus grants under his control. Pennsylvania is considering cutting K-12 education, using stimulus money to fill in the resulting gap, while leaving its "rainy day" fund largely intact. Read Duncan's letter here. And listen to him talk about the larger issue in this ...


Texas Democrats are fighting what's perhaps a noble, albeit losing, battle over State Fiscal Stabilization Fund money that's designed to help prop up states' K-12 education budgets. Texas Gov. Rick Perry and fellow Republicans have figured out, like a lot of other states, that even if you don't really need to cut education, you can cut K-12 anyway and fill the cuts with federal stimulus money, thereby freeing up money for other government programs that would have been spent on education. In one case, Democrats fought a valiant and creative fight as members of the Texas congressional delegation threatened to ...


Rep. John Kline of Minnesota is the new top Republican on the House Education and Labor Committee. Kline wasn't in Congress back in 2001, when lawmakers approved the No Child Left Behind Act, so it's unclear whether he would have supported the legislation. But, unlike Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon of California, who held the ranking member position until he became the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, Kline is a co-sponsor of this bill, put forth by Rep. Peter Hoekstra of Michigan. Commonly called the A-plus Act, the legislation would allow states to "opt-out" of NCLB's accountability ...


AFT President Randi Weingarten has written about the need for national academic standards and testified about it on Capitol Hill. But, in a wide-ranging interview with Edweek reporters yesterday, she was less than enthusiastic about Secretary of Education Arne Duncan's proposal to use a portion of the Race to the Top fund to help states develop more uniform, rigorous assessments. I asked her if she supported the idea, and she said the "short answer is yes" but that the "devil is in the details", a Washington response if there ever was one. Weingarten isn't known for her brevity, particularly in ...


The Republican singles out a Rhode Island school's new skate park, a Wisconsin district's school lunch equipment, and Detroit Public Schools in general for questionable stimulus spending.


But she doesn't mention Education Secretary Arne Duncan by name.


Applications from states will be due in December and June.


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