Winners emphasized innovative approaches to school turnarounds and teacher evaluation, among other changes.

Nine states, plus the District of Columbia, are named as winners.

The winners of Round 2 of the federal Race to the Top program are expected to be announced tomorrow.

Memo to Congress and the U.S. Department of Education: Stay out of the Common Core State Standards Initiative. At least that was the message at an Education Commission of the States forum session Friday from three state policymakers whose states have either won the Race to the Top competition (Gov. Phil Bredesen, a Democrat from Tennessee) or are finalists (Dwight Jones, the state schools chief in Colorado, and Mitchell Chester, the state schools chief in Massachusetts.) If the feds decide to take ownership of Common Core, they could inject an unwelcome note of partisanship, Bredesen said. "The problem with ...

States are more dependent on the federal government for help in funding education than they have been in decades, education finance guru Michael Griffith told a crowd that mostly consisted of state policymakers at a forum at the Education Commission of the States conference in Portland, Ore. Federal spending on K-12 used to be around 8 or 9 percent, he said. Now it's about 19 percent. "When you're talking about driving policy, it's the golden rule, he who has the gold makes the rules," Griffith said. And even a tiny bit of federal funding can make a big difference. For ...

Rep. George Miller is taking a closer look at companies chasing federal school turnaround dollars.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan wasn't kidding when he promised school districts and states that the applications for the new Education Jobs Fund (created under the $10 billion edujobs bill) would be very quick and "streamlined." Less than a week after President Obama signed the edujobs bill, the application has been posted, and it is super straightforward. There is basically only one question: States have to specify whether they plan to distribute the funds through Title I or through their state education funding formula. (Except for Texas, which is special, and gets no choice in the matter. Texas ...

The Senate has already posted its version of the bill online, but the House has yet to reveal details of its version seven weeks after a subcommittee approved it.

Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., a former Denver schools chief and one of the Obama administration's go-to guys in Congress on education policy, beat back a primary challenge.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan told reporters today that he plans to implement a "streamlined" application process for states and districts to snag their share of the $10 billion education jobs fund. Duncan said he hoped to get the money out to districts and states "in a matter of weeks." "We feel a huge sense of urgency to get this money out the door," Duncan said. But he said the money would not necessarily alleviate state and district financial woes. "There's still unmet need out there," Duncan acknowledged. For "the vast majority of districts around this country, this ...

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