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 edweek.org.

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.

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