So if you were following the behind-the-scenes drama of the creation of the stimulus bill, you may remember that a specially dedicated fund just for school facilities, a huge priority for President Barack Obama and Democratic leaders in Congress, was stripped out at the last minute to gain the support of some moderate lawmakers. Apparently, those folks were worried about creating a brand-new government program when the feds have trouble funding the ones that already exist (special education and Title I). In the end, the stimulus included some tax incentives for school construction, and it permitted districts to use a ...

Read the education secretary's ethics letter and financial disclosure—both submitted in preparation for his confirmation hearing in January.

Some folks in Eduland sound glad the department is bringing in someone with a background in management.

Tony Miller, who has an extensive background in business, has been a key player in managing the stimulus money.

Reporter Alyson Klein brings you highlights of the back-and-forth as the House Education and Labor committee hears testimony on the push for common academic standards.

I'm sure you want to hang on to every word of the House Education and Labor committee hearing tomorrow on common standards, featuring an all-star line up. Politics K-12 is going to experiment with brand-new software that will allow us to "live-blog" the event, meaning that I'll be bringing you the latest and greatest as fast as I can type it. See you back here tomorrow. UPDATE: Check out my live-blogging here....

Props to agency officials for the level of detail in their first report.

Rep. Mike Castle, R-Del., said yesterday that a system of national standards and assessments is "worthy of consideration" - an idea I'm sure he's likely to expand upon in tomorrow's hearing on the topic. Castle, a key member of the House Education and Labor Committee, made his remarks yesterday at a forum on the GOP and education. He was careful to make it clear that he's not 100 percent sold on the idea of national standards and tests, just that he wants to look into it. And, in a quick interview after the forum, he said that, even if he ...

On Wednesday, they'll hold a hearing on common standards. The witness list will feature some major players, but no one from the U.S. Department of Education.

An adviser to Arne Duncan says political strategy is behind the decision not to make more significant changes to Title I regulations.

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