March 2010 Archives

Delaware wowed the judges, while New York and Ohio lost points.


Tennessee and Delaware, according to Michele McNeil who heard from an official who has been briefed on the winners. Stay tuned to Politics K-12 for more details. And let the carping and Monday-morning-quarterbacking begin. Are these the right winners? Did Arne Duncan live up to his repeated pledges that Race to the Top would have a "high, high bar?" What happened to Florida, the state that folks overwhelmingly agreed was a shoo-in? Or the other favorite state, Louisiana? Ok, it's time to hit the phones to bring you more reaction and analysis. Check this space later today for more. UPDATE: ...


Andy Smarick, an education stimulus watchdog, offers his latest take on the $4 billion school reform sweepstakes.


From my notebook: I've got a few leftovers from my day with the state school chiefs' legislative meeting in Washington that didn't make my Ed Week story. First, let me just say how much I appreciate the candor of the chiefs. They don't speak in scripted sound bites or repeat the same talking points. They talk real world stuff. How refreshing. Now to the good stuff, most of which comes from the chiefs' roundtable with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Best hint of the day that Louisiana will be a round one winner in Race to the Top: ...


At the annual Washington gathering of the Council of Chief State School Officers this morning, Mark K. McQuillan, Connecticut's education commissioner, told two Obama administration officials he's worried that the $4 billion Race to the Top competition could result in "bad policy." During a session on the administration's proposed fiscal 2011 budget for education with Roberto Rodriguez, from the White House's Domestic Policy Council, and Robert Gordon, from the Office of Management and Budget, Mr. McQuillan raised the issue with the high-stakes Race to the Top competition. Connecticut applied in round one of the competition, but was not chosen as ...


Connecticut's students are constitutionally guaranteed the right to a college- and career-ready education, the state's Supreme Court ruled today, opening the path to a lawsuit that may change the state's funding formula.


Two Georgia gubernatorial candidates were accused of sexual misconduct with students.


June 1—the deadline for states to submit applications for round two of the Race to the Top competition—is less than three months away, and governors who want their states to take another shot at a piece of the $4 billion in federal grants are hoping for more time to refine their applications that fell short in round one. Nine governors—California's Arnold Schwarzenegger, Connecticut's M. Jodi Rell, Kansas' Mark Parkinson, New Hampshire's John H. Lynch, Oklahoma's Brad Henry, Oregon's Theodore M. Kulongski, South Dakota's M. Michael Rounds, Virginia's Robert McDonnell, and West Virginia's Joe Manchin III—sent a...


California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's team has formally responded to allegations raised by two groups of education officials and community organizations that could be holding up hundreds of millions of dollars in federal economic-stimulus money for the state's public schools. Last week, the U.S. Department of Education asked the governor's team to address the accusations that Mr. Schwarzenegger used accounting tricks in his proposed K-12 budget to give the appearance that the state will meet the required maintenance of effort provision in the federal stimulus law. Maintaining a minimum funding level for K-12 is a condition for states to receive ...


Two down. Fourteen more to go. South Carolina and Florida were the first Race to the Top finalists to make presentations to judges this morning at the U.S. Department of Education. In a post-game call with a few reporters, Jim Rex, South Carolina's schools chief, said the 90-minute session was "comprehensive and rigorous," with lots of detailed questions and requests for clarification from the reviewers hearing the state's pitch for a share of the $4 billion in economic-stimulus grants. Confidentiality agreements kept Mr. Rex from disclosing any specific queries that came from the judges. The superintendent said the judges ...


There's less than a week to go until the 16 states in contention for a piece of the $4 billion in Race to the Top prize money come to Washington to make their live pitches to a panel of judges, and some of those finalists are polishing their presentations with the help of the Aspen Institute. The stakes are high for the finalists, especially since each scored above 400 points on a 500-point grading scale for the voluminous applications they submitted to the U.S. Department of Education. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said last week that any of the ...


Education Department responds to allegations raised by educators and community groups about Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposed budget for K-12 public schools.


The state department of education will unveil nearly 200 schools identified as among California's lowest-achieving campuses.


The Sweet Sixteen—15 states and the District of Columbia —are the obvious winners in moving one step closer to claiming a piece of the $4 billion Race to the Top prize. But there are behind-the-scenes victors in this big elimination round, too. Let's call them the Shadow Finalists. One of the biggies is the Boston-based Mass Insight Education and Research Institute. All six states that Mass Insight has partnered with to use its strategies for turning around low-performing schools are finalists. Is that coincidence? Or was that a feature of each state's application that stood out to the Race...


Fifteen states and the District of Columbia survived the first elimination round and will bring their game to Washington later this month to compete for a piece of the $4 billion economic-stimulus prize. In our predictions earlier this week, Michele and I were right about eight of the finalists. Two of our picks, Indiana and Minnesota, didn't make the cut at all. Three of our wild card picks—North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia—made the finalist list. And we came up woefully short by leaving out Kentucky, Georgia, South Carolina, Ohio, and New York....


In less than 24 hours, we should finally know which states will land those coveted finalist spots in Round One of the $4 billion Race to the Top contest. While we wait for the big news, I've been combing again through the applications of those states that most folks agree are likely finalists. And while reviewing Tennessee's application again, I came across a tidbit that I'd missed before: a statement of support from all seven declared candidates for governor, three of them Democrats, four of them Republicans. (See page A-34 for the text of the letter.) That's a savvy move, ...


Gov. Rick Perry rolled to an easy victory in yesterday's primary in Texas. Republican voters there apparently preferred sending him onto a possible third, four-year term, over handing the nomination for the state's top office to U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison or to Debra Medina, a favorite of Texas' Tea Party activists. The governor captured 51 percent of the vote, just enough to avoid a runoff. Now Gov. Perry, who ran an anti-Washington campaign against the two-term senator, will take on Democrat Bill White, Houston's former mayor who coasted to victory in yesterday's primary. The general election is in ...


Texas voters go to polls in Republican primary to choose between incumbent Gov. Rick Perry, U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, and Libertarian candidate Debra Medina.


So the Race to the Top finals are FINALLY here. All the hype, hoopla, and hysteria is about to reach its peak in a day or so when the Education Department reveals which states have made the finalist cut for Round One of the $4 billion contest for the coveted economic-stimulus grants. Michele McNeil (of Politics K-12 fame) and I thought we'd use some NCAA-like bracketology in honor of the fast-approaching March Madness tournament to make our picks for finalists and winners. You can see our lineup in the snazzy graphic that Laura Baker of the EdWeek art department designed ...


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