As you know if you've been reading this space, Ed Secretary Arne Duncan announced the winners of the Race to the Top assessment competition yesterday. (Check our story here for a catch-up if needed.) We linked you to his speech yesterday, but it's meaty enough that it's worth revisiting today. It's not that there was anything new or groundbreaking in the address; it's just that Duncan situates the assessment announcement more fully in the context of the administration's priorities and goals than is often the case. If you had any doubt about what Duncan and his boss envision for teaching, ...

Two state groups win federal Race to the Top funding to design comprehensive testing systems, and a third, vying for funding for high school tests, fails to make the grade.

Winners of the Race to the Top assessment grants will be announced this morning.

A new study suggests that students may be better off attending a K-8 school than moving to a stand-alone middle school.

The California legislature has approved a plan intended to prevent controversial new social studies standards in Texas from reaching Golden State classrooms.

What does it mean that the Partnership for 21st Century Skills is moving in with the Council of Chief State School Officers? It's not entirely clear yet, but it's already sent folks in some quarters into alert mode. Let's take a second for a refresher on who's who. The partnership, known to many as P21, is an organization that advocates the infusion of a broad range of skills such as collaboration, global awareness, and self-direction into a strong academic core of knowledge. (See its framework here.) You might have heard debate about whether P21's approach cheats content in its focus ...

With the U.S. Army finding more success in its recruiting efforts, it's phasing out a pilot program to help new soldiers earn a GED.

In all the analysis of yesterday's Race to the Top winners, not much has been said about what the results might mean for The Other Race to the Top competition. (Remember that $350 million hanging out there for new assessment systems?) Just as I was thinking that I was the only one odd enough to notice that the Round 2 winners tilted pretty darn heavily toward one assessment consortium, I saw that I wasn't alone. Blogger John Bailey over at the consulting outfit Whiteboard Advisors was noticing the same thing (hat tip to eduwonk for calling my attention to it). ...

Virtually every winning state in the federal Race to the Top competition has plans for improving STEM education.

If you've been following the common-standards initiative, you know that the "don't tread on me" spirit has proved to be one of the flashpoints in that work. And even now, with three-quarters of the states having already adopted the standards, we're still hearing states rattle their sabers at the feds over the common standards (headline version: "States to Feds: Stay the Hell Away From My Standards"). The federal-intrusion sentiment pre-existed Race to the Top, of course. That resentment was one of the ingredients in the implosion of earlier attempts at national standards. Keen awareness of that history shaped the name ...


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