Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who was hanging out with Michele all day yesterday in Florida, also found time to name five new staff members to key positions at the Education Department: *Michael Roark, chief administrative officer, office of the deputy secretary: Previously, Roark worked as chief financial officer for AOL Europe. Back in the early 1990s, Roark worked for Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., who is considered pretty liberal on education (and just about everything else). *Jacqueline Jones, senior adviser for early learning: Jones has been working for the New Jersey Department of Education as an assistant commissioner for the ...

After the stimulus windfall, Congress is looking at modest overall increases for education spending.

A CBO new estimate, requested by Sen. Judd Gregg, a Republican from New Hampshire, shows that there may be a lot less money to spend on early childhood education than originally predicted.

Tomorrow, I'm spending the day with Arne. Yes, the Arne. And, I'll be tweeting about it, so follow along via the Politics K-12 Twitter feed. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will be in Florida as part of his Listening and Learning tour. He'll also give a speech at the GE Foundation's meeting. In between visits, I'll try to get answers on my questions (and yours) about Race to the Top....

Do rural states have a shot at the money? Who will judge the applications? What if the governor refuses to sign on?

The decision to make states ineligible for grants if they don't permit the use of student achievement data for evaluating teachers went all the way to the Oval Office.

The Obama administration gave a thumbs up to the increase for the Teacher Incentive Fund, and a thumbs down to lawmakers' decision not to boost funding for the Title I school improvement grants by $1 billion.

There are new proposed requirements on how states should show progress toward those four education-improvement areas spelled out in the stimulus law.

The most talked about, written about, and speculated about part of the stimulus, the $4.35 billion Race to the Top fund, is getting top billing across the edu-blogsphere today.

The Education Department has unveiled criteria for deciding who will get a slice of the $4 billion Race to the Top fund.

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