So this week, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, a former big city superintendent, is headed up to Alaska as part of a cabinet-level push to connect with rural states. The tour has been going on all summer, but the Last Frontier is Duncan's first stop. The trip is part of a larger effort to reach out to rural America, but the education emphasis may be coming just in time to soothe some friction between rural schools and the administration. For instance, on a call last week, one rural official said he thought the competitive grant programs created under the economic ...

These states will get up to $250,000 each to hire consultants to help them complete their applications.

Detroit Public Schools' teacher union president raises the idea that his district needs to protect any education reforms that stem from its state financial takeover from being changed by future district leaders. Can the same idea be applied to stimulus reforms?

It's going to take 642 hours for each state to complete the applications, the Education Department estimates.

Former U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings has taken on a new gig, as the executive vice-president of the National Chamber Foundation, a non-profit arm of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber has been really active on education issues for a long time, and its views tend to dovetail pretty well with Spellings'; the group has been very supportive of accountability through testing, for instance. Apparently, Spellings started serving as a senior adviser to the Chamber back in April, even as she was working as the president and CEO of Margaret Spellings and Company, a public policy ...

You would be hard-pressed to find this important group mentioned in Education Department's proposed criteria.

Jim Shelton, the Education Department's assistant deputy secretary for innovation and improvement, who will be spearheading the process for doling out $650 million in Investing in Innovation grants to be made available under the economic-stimulus package, gave state and local officials a clearer picture of what he's looking for on a conference call today. The official word on the Innovation grants isn't available yet. But Shelton, in a call with other top Education Department officials, said the department would be looking at student graduation, student matriculation, and student achievement in doling out the grants. And he said the department also ...

The Chicago Board of Education has been subpoenaed in a federal investigation...but ex-CPS chief Arne Duncan has not.

California Attorney General Jerry Brown is expected to weigh in on the dispute over California's "fire wall" restricting the use of student achievement data in teacher evaluations.

Now that U.S. Department of Education has made it clear that states must tear down their data firewalls in order to get a piece of the $4.35 billion Race to the Top fund, do you think California and New York will change their laws to be eligible?Yes, both will No, neither of them willPossibly one or the other willNo, they don't really need to because New York's law sunsets in 2010, and California's districts can still link teacher-and-student data, even if the state can'tugg boots uk...

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