Forty-six states have signed onto the National Governors Association/Council of Chief State School Officers effort to pursue common academic standards, Michele reports today. Of the four states not on the list, two have Republican governors who are widely rumored to be mulling a 2012 presidential run: Alaska (Gov. Sarah Palin) and South Carolina (Gov. Mark Sanford) aka Gov. Take-This-Stimulus-Check-And-Shove-It. That's interesting because, generally speaking, the state-led common standards movement has largely gained bipartisan support. In fact, South Carolina schools chief, Jim Rex, a Democrat, signed onto the compact. But since Sanford said no, the state can't be counted among ...


"Dramatic" steps are needed to overhaul struggling schools, the Secretary of Education says—but turnaround specialists are few and far between.


In case you missed it, according a survey released earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Education was ranked as one of the absolute worst places to work in the federal government. (For a quick summary, check out the The Washington Post's story on the survey). To be fair, 400 Maryland Ave. wasn't dead last. That honor belonged to the Department of Transportation. But it ranked 27th out of the 30 large agencies surveyed. The survey, conducted by the Partnership for Public Service, a non-profit in Washington, used data from the Office of Personnel Management's federal human capital survey, ...


The U.S. Department of Education has been quietly, and now more openly, grousing about how slow states have been in applying for state stabilization funds under the economic stimulus package. Other folks are taking note and also questioning states' slow progress. The deadline for applying for stabilization funds is July 1. So far, 19 states have been approved. At least 30 applications have been received. (UPDATE: That 30 figure includes the 19 applications that have already been approved.) Well, late last month, the National Governors Association hosted states' stimulus czars from across the country, and I got to pose ...


Over at the School Law Blog, my colleague Erik Robelen gives a K-12 once-over on President Obama's nomination of New York federal appeals court Judge Sonia Sotomayor for the U.S. Supreme Court. Her personal and professional resume includes a lot of anecdotes that will resonate with the public. Her father, who had only a third-grade education, died young, leaving her mother—a nurse—to raise her and her brother. Sotomayor took comfort in Nancy Drew books, and the fictional amateur detective ended up inspiring the now-Supreme-Court-nominee to read and learn. She excelled in school, got college scholarships to Ivy ...


Secretary of Education Arne Duncan put out the official list of many of the folks who've gotten top positions at the U.S. Department of Education. Most of these aren't new, but the list is a good Who's Who of new political appointees. Another Gates Foundation refugee got a top job. Margot Rogers, formerly the senior counselor to Duncan, will be Arne Duncan's chief of staff. While at Gates, she managed the foundation's five-year education strategy. Juan Sepulveda will be the director of the White House Initiative on the Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans. He was the Texas state director ...


Happy Friday and Almost-Memorial-Day! After you're done watching the On-Demand version of our stimulus webinar (register first here) check out these good reads: First, crack education finance researcher Marguerite Roza has a report out on the stimulus and the prospects for school reform. There's a super-helpful chart showing just how much of a difference the money will make to each state's K-12 budget that you'll definitely want to bookmark. Looks like there are a lot of places where it won't make much of a difference. One of the states that will actually be in the black after the stim, according ...


Now that voters have rejected several budget fixes, the $4 billion in state fiscal stabilization fund money headed to California is barely going to make a dent in the state's deficit.


Have a burning question about the stimulus? You're in luck — Michele and I will be doing a webinar today at 1 p.m. We'll do an overview on the different parts of the law, the guidance that's yet to come, and take your questions. You can watch it all right here on edweek.org. And it's free (although registration is required)....


Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., the House education chairman urged Arne Duncan to be very picky in determining which states should get money under the Race to the Top fund.


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