• By David DeSchryver
    February 13, 2011

    Politico reports that "[t]he White House plans to announce a slew of education initiatives next week in conjunction with the release of the 2012 budget, including a new iteration of the 'Race to the Top' program aimed at funding individual school districts rather than states. [...]

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  • By David DeSchryver
    February 10, 2011

    Wireless broadband for everyone and, yes, that includes rural locations.  If President Obama has his way, the US government will sell some wireless spectrum to make this happen and, along the way, reduce the deficit by an estimated $10 billion.  While such estimates rarely turn out to be correct, the sale of such spectrum will be exciting.  Now, how can education entrepreneurs and schools make the most of this upcoming opportunity? Ideas? 

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  • By David DeSchryver
    February 3, 2011

    The Federal fiscal year (FY) 2011 is not yet complete.  Congress should have completed it last fall, but that did not happen due to the elections.  Instead, the previous Congress passed, and the President signed, a continuing resolution (CR) that extended FY2010 spending levels for federal programs until March 4, 2011.  The CR provides Congress extra time, and funding, to review the President’s proposed FY2011 budget.   Read more

  • By David DeSchryver
    February 3, 2011

    Earlier this week, Whiteboard Advisors published its 2011 State Legislative Preview, commenting on the desperate attention to state deficits. Everything else, including education, is in the event horizon of this black hole issue. Read more

  • February 1, 2011

    There will be a lot of talk about “reform” in the states this year. Education reform, pension reform, health care reform, Medicaid reform, tax reform and immigration reform will be legislative priorities across the country. Reform is code. In this context reform does not necessarily mean better. It means cheaper. The discussion is not really about policy.  It will be about budget and how budget relates to other priorities.

    This document previews several issues to be debated heavily this year beginning, of course, with budgets.  Other priorities include: education, health care and pension reform, legislative redistricting, job creation, public private partnerships (P3), immigration and transportation.

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  • By David DeSchryver
    January 28, 2011

    The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its updated federal fiscal outlook for 2011 through 2021. It’s not cheery. Read more

  • By John Bailey
    January 26, 2011

    Yesterday, David wrote about the White House's enhanced SOTU-website.  Full text of the speech here. White House fact sheets here and here.  The Washington Post provides a fun way to compare this year's speech to previous years.  Word clouds at the bottomr depict the frequency of words used for the entire speech and also just the education section. 

    Rep. Kline issued a statement after the speech.  Education Insider co-publisher Andy Rotherham offers some reactions to the speech here and here.  EdWeek's coverage here.

    I thought it was generally a good speech, but was surprised at the rather lukewarm call for ESEA reauthorization.  It was stronger than last year's, but still rather tepid and lacking any real details other than increasing the number of STEM teachers.  It's not surprising that 56% of our Insiders think ESEA reauthorization will be delayed until 2013.

    This line also puzzled me, "That's why instead of just pouring money into a system that's not working, we launched a competition called Race to the Top."   Technically, most of the stimulus funds were poured into a system that isn't working - through Title I and other forumula programs. And the EduJobs bill poured $10 billion - more than two times the size of RttT - into supporting the status quo instead of adopting a cleantech approach of funding new innovations or scaling charters schools or online learning providers.   

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  • By Eugene Hickok
    January 24, 2011

    The start of a new year, along with the November election's results, may prompt those interested in the future of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act -- or No Child Left Behind -- to wonder whether or not reauthorization is a real possibility in 2011. Read more

  • January 19, 2011

    One of the interesting education debates is around the issue of "innovation" - what is it?  What is the role of the federal government, foundation community, and private capital markets?  How does regulation inhibit innovative solutions and discourage private capital investments?  What are the best - and most appropriate - policy levers the Federal government can employ to engage education entrepreneurs on some of our nation's most pressing education challenges?  

    The Race to the Top and Investing in Innovation Fund competitions represented an unprecedented federal investment in supporting innovation and creative reforms.  However, they also stirred debate around the role of for-profits vs. non-profit solution providers and if there was a more pressing need for start-up funding or scale up funding.  

    The sector has seen also seen a number of organizations helping to scale and incubate innovative start-ups.  New School Venture Fund is raising another round of funding and continues to help scale promising human capital and charter organizations.  STARTL, backed with foundation funding, is exploring how to accelerate and scale education innovation.  Doug Lynch at the University of Pennsylvania has convened a number of leading non-profits and for-profits to explore new approaches to education, including hosting an education business plan competition. ASU and NeXtAdvisors recently held an Education Innovation Summit that attracted 200 organizations, including 53 companies. One of the keynote addresses was provided by Silicon Valley legend Reed Hastings who discussed his acquisition of DreamBox Learning. News Corps recently acquired Wireless Generation, capping a year in which we saw unprecedented private equity interest in the education sector.  

    We asked our Insiders a number of questions around where innovation is most needed, the greatest barriers to the effective use of technology, which arguments are the most compelling for online learning, and how effective they believe some federal programs are in terms of improving education.  We also asked for their opinions on the recommendations released by the Digital Learning Council and the National Education Technology Plan, including how they might prompt state and federal policy action.  

    We also added a new element to this month's survey.  Working with the Aspen Institute, we asked some of the same questions to the Aspen Institute's Education Innovation Forum's participants.  This allowed us to compare the "insider" view to those outside the Beltway.  In some areas, there was agreement but in others, a surprising disconnect.   Read more

  • January 14, 2011

    On Monday, January 10, the United States Department of Education (ED) published a Notice of Proposed Revisions (NPR) for the Investing in Innovation Fund (I3).  ED is soliciting comments to the proposed revisions on or before February 9, 2011.  Although a second round of I3 funding has yet to be approved, organizations with an interest in shaping the criteria for a second I3 round should review the regulations and offer comments on ED’s proposed priorities, requirements, and selection criteria. Read more

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