Today is the one-year anniversary of the economic stimulus package, which infused an unprecedented $100 billion in new federal aid into education. To me, the biggest effect so far has been how it saved states from making scary-deep, Draconian cuts to K-12 budgets. It remains to be seen how much impact the stimulus will have on Race to the Top-style reforms. Rather than looking back, or celebrating the birthday, as countless others are doing in statement after statement, I want to look ahead and examine the biggest question marks out there as we go into the stimulus package's second and ...

On the heels of Michelle Obama's launch of her new "Let's Move" initiative to combat childhood obesity, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is gearing up for the reauthorization of the $18 billion national school lunch and breakfast programs. The goals for this reauthorization are two-fold, Agriculture Secretary and former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack said today in a conference call: improve access to free or reduced-price meals, and improve their nutritional value. On the issue of access, Vilsack points out that while there are 31 million students in 102,000 schools that take advantage of free or reduced-price lunches, only ...

U.S. Rep. Vernon Ehlers, R-Mich., a major advocate for math and science education, has announced that he will retire.

I'm at a two-day symposium in New York City put on by the Campaign for Educational Equity (and sponsored by Teachers College, Columbia University) that's examining whether the stimulus funds have been spent and used equitably to help improve achievement, especially among at-risk students. Sam Dillon did a piece previewing the papers being presented, in which he focused on the funding cliff that the stimulus is creating. Since we've already written a lot about the funding cliff, I thought the more interesting part of these papers, and the symposium itself, was the warning flags being raised about some of the ...

As we've already reported, the U.S. Department of Education put out a bold new budget proposal last week that includes major program consolidations and sketches out the preliminary details of the administration's plan to renew the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. That reauthorization would have to pass this year for many of the budget proposals to become reality. Many folks think that's a long shot. And it appears that the department is at least preparing for the possibility that the bill won't make it to prime time this year. Buried in the mega-thick budget document is the administration's budget ...

In many ways, the i3 competition is a much bigger logistical problem for the department than Race to the Top, which has higher stakes.

We may not know who the Race to the Top peer reviewers are, but the Education Department has provided some basic demographic information on this jury that will help dole out the first round of $4 billion in competitive grants. Not that these tidbits will satisfy the critics of the department's decision to keep the panelists' identities secret, but they're worth sharing nonetheless. The crew of 58 looks like this: 15 are former principals, 30 are former K-12 teachers 4 are attorneys 35 have doctoral degrees 12 have served on state or local boards of education 15 are former state ...

The U.S. secretary of education says his comments were "dumb" and expressed in a "poor way."

The measure of gauging student performance would be changed from adequate yearly progress to a system that measures readiness for college and careers.

In an interview, the education secretary says that Hurricane Katrina allowed for a new, better school system in New Orleans.

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