November 2009 Archives

As NCLB is reauthorized, the education secretary says he envisions a significant new emphasis on incentives for high-performing schools, districts, and states.

In making their funding choices, Gates is making clear what it's view of innovation is: that charters and districts will work more collaboratively together on education reform.

The Center for Civic Education, which administers the We the People program, said the audit was "unduly harsh, unfair."

English-language learners, students in special education, and homeless students took center stage in the U.S. Department of Education's second "stakeholders" forum, held here in Washington today. These events are intended to help lay the groundwork for reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. This one attracted a much smaller and more subdued crowd than the first stakeholders' forum here, which featured a big speech on reauthorization from Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Still, there was some interesting discussion on how the new, yet-to-be-named version of the law might do a better job measuring the achievement of these special ...

Finalists will be asked to bring a team to Washington to make one last sales pitch to the judges. Will they bring any Oprah-like celebrities?

Republicans questioned the 300,000 education jobs reported created or saved so far.

Nine rural school superintendents told the Education Secretary that most of the department's turnaround models will not work in rural communities.

Rep. David R. Obey, the Democratic chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and a major architect of the stimulus law, ranted and raved yesterday in this statement about inaccurate reporting on "Credibility counts in government and stupid mistakes like this undermine it," Obey said. "Whether the numbers are good news or bad news, I want the honest numbers and I want them now." Obey may have been thinking about reports like this recent ABC news account, which found that the Obama administration scaled back their estimate - by 60,000 - of how many jobs were created under ...

The new assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education says she feels a bit like a vice principal again, with a principal and a superintendent to answer to.

The former Republican House speaker pledged to help the Obama administration find common ground with the GOP during reauthorization.

If you haven't read Michele's thoughtful story on the final Race to the Top rules, you should do so immediately. She mentions that the Education Department has set "non-binding" spending levels for how big each winning state's grant might be. The levels are based on the number of school-age children in the state. For instance, just four states, California, Florida, New York, and Texas, are eligible for the biggest grants, ranging from $350 million to $750 million each. Not surprisingly, it sounds like some states are less than thrilled about the size of their possible awards. Take Colorado, for instance. ...

A sampling of reaction from around the blogsphere on today's release of final Race to the Top regulations: Eduflack guesses that 4 or 5 states will win grants in Round 1 (heavily weighted toward the Gates states), with a dozen or so in Round 2. Over at Flypaper, the very quotable Andy Smarick points out the absence of any mention of union contracts in the final regs, and laments the reform bar is now a little bit lower than it was in the first draft. Neal McClusky at [email protected] opines that these regs don't actually do anything. The always ...

The president has been heavily involved in Race to Top so far, so will he be involved at all in picking the winners? I ask Education Secretary Arne Duncan that question.

The U.S. Department of Education will unveil final rules for the $4 billion competition tomorrow, but until then, get the skinny at

The Obama administration is calling for far more funding for teacher-pay proposals than for wrap-around services for low-income students.

The U.S. Department of Education today specified the kind of data and information that states will need to submit if they want to get a piece of the second—and final—round of State Fiscal Stabilization Fund money. Back in April, the department alerted governors that this guidance would be coming. States will need to meet a total of 35 reporting requirements, including 32 "indicators" and three that will require some kind of a description. Eight of the criteria can be addressed using already existing data. And 14 of the indicators require a "yes" or "no" response. The criteria...

Under the proposed regulations, states would get bonus points for addressing STEM. What will the final regs say about STEM?

Rick Hess, over at the American Enterprise Institute's Blog, asks an excellent question: "Why Is the Secretary of Education Lobbying on the Healthcare Bill?"...

The Louisiana School Boards Associations thinks it would be fiscally irresponsible for the state to go after a slice of the $4 billion in Race to the Top program grants, according to this Associated Press Story. The boards are worried that the program will eventually amount to an unfunded mandate, in which districts will be expected to keep up with the new activities financed by the grant even after the infusion of federal cash goes away in two years. (One superintendent I talked to in Colorado for this story had similar concerns). It's hard to say whether the school boards' ...

The President spent a large chunk of today's speech trying to educate people on those four "assurances" in the stimulus law, which are clearly becoming the education reform vision of his administration.

The U.S. Department of Education has taken its Elementary and Secondary Education Act reauthorization tour all the way across the street: to the National Museum of the American Indian, literally across Independence Avenue from department headquarters in Washington. An event today gave tribal leaders, in town anyway for a White House conference on Native American issues, a chance to share their ideas for renewing ESEA, of which the No Child Left Behind Act is the current version. As you probably remember, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said recently that the NCLB "Listening and Learning Tour" has reached a new ...

TABOR loses in Maine and Washington state, Ohio clears the way for casinos that could boost school revenue, and Mainers scrap a same-sex-marriage law that some said could affect the curriculum.

Mayors re-elected in New York City and Boston, while the governorships turn over in New Jersey and Virginia.

Race to the Top will be a key focus of tomorrow's speech, which will highlight Wisconsin's upcoming legislative vote to remove the "firewall" between student data and teacher evaluations.

The Education Department clarifies that Massachusetts' use of State Fiscal Stabilization Fund money did not violate the law

The level of detail that states reported varies widely in the first quarterly stimulus reports posted on

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