But will he reveal the identity of the next secretary of education? President-elect Barack Obama is holding a press conference tomorrow morning at 10:45 central time at the Dodge Renaissance Academy, a preK-8 school in Chicago. Sounds like a prime venue to announce the next secretary of education, one of the major cabinet posts he has yet to fill. Michele e-mailed an Obama spokesman to find out if it's the education secretary announcement. He said he "can't confirm" it. Chicago Schools Chief Executive Officer Arne Duncan is said to be on the short list for that position. Could going ...


School administrators have identified about $11 billion in ready-to-go construction projects should Congress pass a federal stimulus package focused on infrastructure. The survey of nearly 800 administrators in 48 states, conducted by the American Association of School Administrators and released today, found that school districts also want to use one-time money for instructional materials—particularly classroom technology. Missouri and Illinois identified the most projects, at 244 and 103 respectively, while Louisiana and New Mexico didn't report any ready-to-go projects. But when and if schools will get to fulfill these wishes is another story. Congress—and governors—are working on laying ...


From guest blogger David J. Hoff: Word from sources in Denver is that FBI agents are in town are starting to vet the Denver Schools Superintendent Michael Bennet, and that Bennet traveled to Washington this week. The assumption is that he’s in the running to be named secretary of education, as Jonathan Alter reported in Newsweek. And other sources who have talked to Arne Duncan say the Chicago schools CEO has talked to the Obama team about the job, even though Duncan didn't acknowledge the talks when asked about it at an event in Chicago Thursday with Secretary of ...


Last Friday, both The Washington Post and The New York Times ran editorials or op-eds criticizing Stanford education professor Linda Darling-Hammond as a possible choice for a high-level position in the Obama administration, such as Secretary of Education or even Deputy Secretary. And today there was yet another editorial in the Los Angeles Times that blasted Darling-Hammond, while urging the "accountability" camp in the Democratic party to acknowledge the short-comings of the No Child Left Behind Act. (It looks like Darling-Hammond's detractors have some high-level contacts in the opinion writing world, while Darling-Hammond's supporters are good petitioners). This week, Darling-Hammond ...


Here's some potentially good news for cash-strapped school districts: It looks like Congress is going to work on a real, honest-to-goodness budget for education in fiscal year 2009, which actually began back on Oct.1. In September, Congress passed a measure extending funding for most federal programs—including education—at fiscal year 2008 levels until March to avoid a repeat of last year's showdown with President Bush. It even looked like lawmakers were just going to pass another extension covering the rest of fiscal 2009, then get to working on the fiscal 2010 budget, which will be the first proposed...


Cash-strapped school districts may see an infusion of federal aid in a sweeping stimulus package being crafted by Congress and President-elect Barack Obama. But it isn't clear yet whether the measure will contain dollars earmarked specifically for K-12 schools in the form of, say, more Title I or special education money, or more general aid to states that would help protect districts from massive budget cuts. Three governors—Jon Corzine of New Jersey, a Democrat; James E. Doyle of Wisconsin, a Democrat; and Jim Douglas of Vermont, Republican—testified before the House Appropriations Committee today on the need for state aid so...


Never fear. Last week, Bill Ayers wrote an op-ed piece for the New York Times about his time with the Weather Underground. And in it, the University of Illinois, Chicago education prof reiterates claims that he wasn't a close associate of President-elect Obama's. This morning, the post's Charles Lane has a response, focusing on Ayers' unwillingness to say in the editorial that the Weather Underground's activities were politically unproductive—not to mention dangerous....


This morning I attended a meeting organized by the National League of Cities for education policy of staff of big city mayors. The session focused on next steps for the incoming administration and Congress, and was "on background" for reporters, meaning that I can't give names of the people who spoke. The mayoral staff heard from a representative of the Obama transition team. The group is tight-lipped about its next steps and in a "listen-only" mode for the most part when it comes to communicating with education organizations. The representative gave little indication of what the Obama administration's first moves ...


From guest blogger David J. Hoff: Michael Bennet is the latest to have his name surface as a potential secretary of education. Jonathan Alter mentioned the Denver superintendent in his Newsweek column about Bill Gates using his philanthropic efforts to influence national and federal K-12 policy. Bennet is one of three urban superintendents who "would suit Gates and other reform-minded philanthropists just fine," Alter writes. Chicago's Arne Duncan and New Orleans' Paul Vallas are the others, but New York City's Joel Klein is an unlikely pick because of his strained relationship with AFT President Randi Weingarten, Alter says. "I have ...


The Illinois Education Association is calling for Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich to resign after the governor and his chief of staff, John Harris, were arrested this morning on corruption and bribery charges. The Democratic governor allegedly tried to benefit financially from the pending appointment of the Senate seat recently vacated by President-elect Barack Obama, according one of a number of accusations included in the FBI's 78-page indictment. Blagojevich has sole authority to select Obama's replacement. In a statement on the matter released today the teachers' union said: We are appalled by the allegations found in the complaint against Gov. Rod ...


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