U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan told a room full of Washington reporters today that he's still hoping to move on a bipartisan reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act early next year. But, when asked if he'd like to change anything in the Obama administration's blueprint for renewal, released last March, he said only that he'd like to beef-up parent involvement, while offering few other specifics. Duncan was also asked about the four school Improvement models outlined as a condition for federal turnaround aid, which folks (including members of Congress) have said are too prescriptive. The models ...

Twenty-one non-profits and higher education institutions will snag a grant from the U.S. Department of Education to help plan for a Promise Neighborhood, the administration announced today. The grants, of up to $500,000, will help the winners create programs that offer a comprehensive range of services to help improve student outcomes, such as health care, pre-kindergarten, and college counseling. The idea grew out of the Harlem Children's Zone, a rock star program of the moment, which is even featured in American Express commercials. The announcement of the winners will be made at a press conference today featuring an ...

Is smaller better when it comes to Race to the Top? Two of the winners - DC and Hawaii - include just one major school district.

Remember the U.S. Department of Education's blueprint for reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act? It included a line about seeking greater "fiscal equity" in schools, but few specifics on exactly how to work through that tricky issue. Reauthorization doesn't look like it's moving this year, but the Education Department, at the behest of two congressmen, is establishing a 15-member commission to explore the fiscal-equity question. Nominations for panelists were due last week. The commission, which will be run by the department's Office of Civil Rights, is slated to work for about 15 months. It's unclear whether the panel ...

Officials from the lucky dozen winners of the $4 billion Race to the Top competition met in Washington to hammer out their budgets and talk about implementations issues.

The longtime Democratic mayor of Chicago says the Race to the Top competition should have rewarded Illinois and his city for their work improving schools.

What would Republican control of Congress look like for education policy and spending? We asked Rep. John Kline, who would likely become chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee in that scenario.

Rep. Mike Castle of Delaware, a longtime congressman and former governor with expertise in education issues, lost the GOP U.S. Senate nomination tonight to Christine O'Donnell, a tea party-backed marketing and media consultant. Castle's defeat means that Congress is losing a moderate GOP lawmaker with a long record on, and a lot of interest in, K-12 issues. Folks in Washington saw him as someone who could help the GOP and Democrats reach a consensus on thorny education issues. Just a few months ago, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan applauded him for helping to inform some of the ...

The president's back-to-school speech in Philadelphia makes no mention of the controversy surrounding last year's address to students.

The folks at the U.S. Department of Education have a good reason to break out the champagne today—all 49 of the highest-rated applicants for the Investing in Innovation grant program were able to secure the required 20 percent private match, the final hurdle to getting their federal i3 grants. It wasn't an easy process, as we wrote in this story. For instance, many of the winners were surprised that they didn't get more help from foundations that had signed up for the i3 registry, which was intended to help put grantees and private funders together. And many said...

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