So on the heels of the Obama administration sticking its neck out to support the edujuobs bill, the Washington Post editorial page put out this op-ed urging lawmakers to reject the legislation. The editorial points to some issues underlying the debate over the edujobs bill, including that it a) isn't offset if it becomes part of the emergency spending bill financing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and b) doesn't include any sort of provision urging districts to rethink seniority-based layoffs. Here's a snippet from the editorial: The congressional measure fails to use dollars in a way that would have ...


It's almost crunch time on the edujobs legislation. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan sent a letter today to Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. the Speaker of the House, and Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., the Majority Leader, asking them to please include the $23 billion edujobs measure in the supplemental appropriations bill funding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that the Senate is set to consider very soon. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, the chairman of the subcommittee that oversees education spending, is planning to introduce the bill as an amendment to the supplemental, once it goes to the Senate floor. ...


By yesterday's 4:30 p.m. deadline, 1,669 districts, schools, and nonprofits had turned in their applications for the $650 million Investing in Innovation Fund, according to a summary document posted this afternoon on the U.S. Department of Education's website. From a logistical standpoint, that number may be a relief for the department from the nearly 2,500 entities that filed notices of intent indicating they might apply. Such a huge applicant pool would have required a ton of peer reviewers, although more than 1,600 isn't necessarily going to make things easy. In that applicant pool, we ...


Today is the deadline for districts, schools, and nonprofits to apply for Investing in Innovation grants, and when U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan spoke at the NewSchools Venture Fund Summit at noon, already 800 had flooded in. More than 2,000 are expected by today's 4:30 p.m. deadline. (A quick side-note: The department has extended the i3 deadline to May 19 for applicants who were affected by the massive flooding in Tennessee earlier this month. (UPDATE: Thanks to the Politics K-12 reader who alerted me that I had included the wrong deadline date for those affected ...


So, it's May and the pink slips are going out. Where exactly is that $23 billion to help stabilize education jobs? Well, Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, the chairman of the subcommittee overseeing education spending and the author of the bill, has plans to introduce it as an amendment to a bill making supplemental appropriations for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a Senate aide told me. Lobbyists expect that bill to hit the floor in the next couple weeks. Two issues have the potential to gum up the works or at least spark debate, either on the Senate floor or ...


Michele McLaughlin, who has worked on teacher quality issues at both the American Federation of Teachers and Teach for America, has recently joined the staff of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee where she will work with Bethany Little and others on a variety of K-12 issues, including Title I. While at AFT, McLaughlin worked with John See on a late, great blog on the No Child Left Behind Act. McLaughlin's background might be an ideal fit for Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, the chairman of the Senate HELP committee, who would like to move a bill reauthorizing the ...


Grover J. "Russ" Whitehurst, the former director of the Institute of Education Sciences, argues in this Education Week commentary that the Obama administration's signature education policy program, the $4 billion Race to the Top competition, was not authorized by Congress. As a reporter who covered the development of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act very closely, I found his commentary thoughtful but, ultimately, I disagree with his conclusion that the program wasn't authorized. In making his argument, Whitehurst takes a look at the actual language in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The bill says, in a nutshell, that the ...


This editorial in yesterday's Los Angeles Times appears to be causing the U.S. Department of Education some Race to the Top trouble. And this may be an instance in which the department hasn't really earned it. The Times writes of a "deal" (presumably brokered between U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger) to let the state apply for round two of Race to the Top even though only a few districts would take part. And this deal supposedly allowed the education secretary to save face by ensuring the largest state applied for his signature ...


Education Secretary Arne Duncan continues to have a good day at the office as 37 states plus the District of Columbia say they're going to compete in the second round of Race to the Top, in which $3.4 billion in economic-stimulus prize money is up for grabs. Given all of the squabbles within states over buy-in, and one or two newsworthy state dropouts from the competition, this is a very strong showing for Duncan's signature education reform driver. No doubt, Duncan recognizes the importance of strong state support for Race to the Top—as is evident by the fact...


So a number of outlets are reporting that Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and also the subcommittee on education spending, is not going to run for re-election. Obey is expected to make a "major" announcement later today. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan & Co. are probably greeting the news with (silent) cheers of joy and (discreetly) breaking open the champagne. Obey has been super skeptical of Duncan's reform agenda almost from the get-go, saying, for instance, that the department is setting cash-strapped school districts up for failure by expecting them to make progress ...


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