Applications from states will be due in December and June.


The Race to the Top Fund is now down to $4 billion for states.


Not content with prodding California to tear down its data fire wall, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is apparently throwing his weight around the fight over whether, and how, to continue mayoral control of New York City's schools. And, over at Flypaper, Mike Petrilli takes the temperature of Duncan's tenure so far: It's a "warm" on the blog's trademark Reform-o-meter. Which, sadly, won't be a regular feature anymore, Mike says. At Swift & Change Able, Charlie Barone has an interesting update on the implementation of growth models and No Child Left Behind. And if you were wondering why there hasn't been ...


What's up with certain conservatives linking sex and kindergarten?


As we mentioned yesterday, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is talking tough about the need for state data systems to include some sort of indicator that can be used to tie teachers to their students' performance. Who knows whether it will happen in California, Duncan's new poster child for the issue. But the situation in Arizona may be promising for proponents of the idea, at least according to the state schools chief, Tom Horne. I asked Horne last week (while reporting this story) whether he thought the state would actually be able to squeeze some reform out of the stimulus ...


Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has added more tough talk to his stump speech. Just yesterday, he urged states to strike down laws that prohibit them from using data systems to link individual teachers to student outcomes. Today he hit that theme again, singling out California's law, which he said makes it impossible to figure out which of the state's educators and practices are effective. At a breakfast with reporters in Washington, he called the Golden State law a "fire wall. ... This thing is a huge, huge barrier. ... We've got to tear down this fire wall." Not being able to ...


In case you were wondering whether that $25 million or so that the Gates and Broad Foundations invested in ED in '08 paid off, Strong American Schools, which managed the program, is here to tell you that the campaign "has helped turn the need for education reform from a low-priority campaign issue into one of the Obama administration's top policy priorities." Take that Mr. Mouthing Platitudes! You can read all about it in a new report on the effort, released today. ED in '08's biggest road block, according to the report? Teachers' unions. And also the media....


Inside Baseball Alert: Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon, R-Calif., is going to be the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, replacing Rep. John McHugh of New York, who is going to work in the Obama administration. That means McKeon won't be the ranking member on the House Education and Labor Committee anymore, because lawmakers typically don't hold that slot on two different committees. (For more on McKeon, check out this interview at the GOP convention.) Republicans will get to choose a replacement for McKeon, and the pick could have major implications for No Child Left Behind Act reauthorization ...


The Education Department gets a "most improved" from Politics K-12 for finally putting the initial applications for state fiscal stabilization funding online—and living up to the transparency standards President Obama has set for spending stimulus money. I've been making the case for this for weeks now (here and here), and other folks have joined in a call for more transparency as well. (UPDATE: To clarify, the Education Department has always posted online the final applications once they were approved, but at issue were the initial applications states submitted—before any changes were made.) This is more than just a ...


So, now that the original Reading First program is officially dead, Congress and the administration are scrambling to create a new program that would retain the federal government's investment in literacy, without all the unfortunate conflict-of-interest issues and effectiveness questions. It's up for debate whether there is a consensus out in Literacy Land as to how best to teach reading. But lawmakers are starting to put together reading legislation. My colleague, Kathleen Kennedy Manzo told you about a bill being crafted by the Senate. But over in the House, lawmakers are also working on the issue. Freshman Rep. Jared Polis, ...


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