July 2009 Archives

The six senators face an uphill climb in their bid to save the program.


The full Senate Appropriations Committee today voted down an effort to increase funding for the Teacher Incentive Fund by an extra $100 million in the bill funding the U.S. Department of Education in fiscal 2010.


Education has been on the national stage plenty lately. (In fact, Politics K-12's own Michele McNeil talked about the $4.35 billion Race to the Top fund on National Public Radio's "To the Point" just yesterday.) But, we haven't heard much about the law that has dominated education policy for going on nine years now: No Child Left Behind. For those who need a quick review: The bill was scheduled to be reauthorized back in 2007, but Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., the chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, ran into a brick wall when he took a crack ...


President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan have criticized California for its data "firewall," but singled out a Golden State district for its good use of data.


Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who was hanging out with Michele all day yesterday in Florida, also found time to name five new staff members to key positions at the Education Department: *Michael Roark, chief administrative officer, office of the deputy secretary: Previously, Roark worked as chief financial officer for AOL Europe. Back in the early 1990s, Roark worked for Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., who is considered pretty liberal on education (and just about everything else). *Jacqueline Jones, senior adviser for early learning: Jones has been working for the New Jersey Department of Education as an assistant commissioner for the ...


After the stimulus windfall, Congress is looking at modest overall increases for education spending.


A CBO new estimate, requested by Sen. Judd Gregg, a Republican from New Hampshire, shows that there may be a lot less money to spend on early childhood education than originally predicted.


Tomorrow, I'm spending the day with Arne. Yes, the Arne. And, I'll be tweeting about it, so follow along via the Politics K-12 Twitter feed. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will be in Florida as part of his Listening and Learning tour. He'll also give a speech at the GE Foundation's meeting. In between visits, I'll try to get answers on my questions (and yours) about Race to the Top....


Do rural states have a shot at the money? Who will judge the applications? What if the governor refuses to sign on?


The decision to make states ineligible for grants if they don't permit the use of student achievement data for evaluating teachers went all the way to the Oval Office.


The Obama administration gave a thumbs up to the increase for the Teacher Incentive Fund, and a thumbs down to lawmakers' decision not to boost funding for the Title I school improvement grants by $1 billion.


There are new proposed requirements on how states should show progress toward those four education-improvement areas spelled out in the stimulus law.


The most talked about, written about, and speculated about part of the stimulus, the $4.35 billion Race to the Top fund, is getting top billing across the edu-blogsphere today.


The Education Department has unveiled criteria for deciding who will get a slice of the $4 billion Race to the Top fund.


The word on the street (and by street, I mean twitter) is that the Race to the Top application process is going to be announced as soon as tomorrow. (The folks at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a think-tank in Washington, are saying it outright.) The $4.35 billion Race to the Top program, which was created under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, is meant to reward states that make significant progress on teacher quality and distribution, standards and assessments, school improvement, and tracking student progress through data systems. Folks are wondering just how serious the Education Department is ...


The Education Department's Office of Inspector General looked for patterns in its investigations since 2002 and found pervasive problems with spending federal money.


Without many fireworks or much fanfare, the House Education and Labor Committee approved a bill that would completely overhaul the federal student-loan program, using projected savings to direct new resources to school facilities, early-childhood education, Pell Grants, and community colleges. The measure was approved on a partisan vote of 30-17, with just two Republicans, Reps. Todd Platts of Pennsylvania and Thomas Petri of Wisconsin, crossing over to vote with the Democrats. The committee approved a few tweaks to the portion of the bill on early-childhood education, including amendments that would allow the government to take into consideration when doling out ...


Title I districts would get grants of at least $5,000 under the proposal to use for projects that meet environmental standards.


How would you improve the Education Department's Web site?


For your weekend reading: Alexander Russo offers advice to new education reporters (including to get off the beat soon because it's not very prestigious). And he's surely annoyed the Education Department by asking for EdSec Duncan's daily schedule -- and not the one that's already online. Russo wants to know who the secretary is meeting with who's not on the schedule. This is an important issue, and the Ed. Dept. should promptly release this information because Duncan is a public official and who he meets with while on the taxpayer's dime should be public information. After all, in addition to ...


Relax, Teacher Incentive Fund fans: It doesn't look like the full House Appropriations Committee is going to make major changes to that education spending bill approved last week by the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies. The House Appropriations Committee today was debating the Labor-HHS appropriations bill, which finances the U.S. Department of Education and, as I'm sure you'll remember, includes a huge windfall for the TIF. Final passage wasn't expected until this evening, but it was mostly other congressional business, not education, that was holding up debate. Under the bill, the ...


The education secretary tells principals they're the key to turning around failing schools, challenging them "to take on the toughest job in America."


Rep. Miller's Early Learning Challenge Fund grant program is expected to be marked up next week.


A fraud alert triggered by Arizona prompted federal education officials to start asking questions about how the state planned to spend its stimulus money.


Projected savings from changes in the student loan program would shake loose $10 billion in the area of early childhood.


Where is the administration's focus on high school graduates?


Please tell us how you're involved in education policy.


Deficits, pressure to spend quickly, and murky guidance have led states and school districts to use stimulus money to save jobs and bolster existing programs, a Government Accountability Office Report says.


But President Obama's proposal to redirect some Title I money to the school improvement program is rejected.


By guest blogger Erik Robelen: Not only is there a new ranking Republican on the House education committee, Republicans now are getting a new staff director for the panel, Barrett Karr, who brings experience both in Congress and in the George W. Bush White House. Rep. John Kline, of Minnesota, the top Republican on the committee, made the announcement today. (See Alyson's recent post on her interview with Rep. Kline here.) A press release from the committee tells us that Karr brings "a wealth of knowledge on education, health care, and labor issues gained during a 13-year career that spanned ...


By guest blogger Erik Robelen: Better read this fast and start commenting. The Education Department this afternoon released draft guidance offering more details on the waivers states and districts may seek from Title I requirements as they spend the $10 billion made available under the economic-stimulus law for that program. Those wishing to submit comments to the department on the guidance have until next Monday, July 13, to do so. That's right, folks: Just six days. The 46-page document deals with a variety of issues, from the law's school choice and supplemental education services provisions to "maintenance of effort" and ...


A coterie of education big wigs, including Secretary Arne Duncan, weigh in on the pros and cons of mayoral control while the law's fate in NYC hangs in the balance.


The Education Secretary took on some of the prized benefits of being a teacher: tenure, the salary schedule, and union protection.


This chunk of the stabilization fund is meant to help out states as they face increasing budget pressures.


New NYC Board of Education votes to keep Joel I. Klein as chancellor, affirms support of mayoral control.


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