• May 25, 2012

    On May 22, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) released draft requirements for the Race to the Top for Districts Competition (RTT-D).  ED will award $400 million to 20 applicants. The number of students participating in the program will determine funding.  ED may issue grants of up to $25 million.  Applicants may be a part of a State that won a Race to the Top grant in prior competitions. To provide a helpful summary of the program’s details, the team at Whiteboard advisors developed a one-page overview and detailed summary of the new competition. Read more

  • August 11, 2011 - 3:30pm

    The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) set the stage for unprecedented teacher evaluation state legislation. Read more

  • By John Bailey
    August 2, 2011

      Read more

  • By David DeSchryver
    July 15, 2011

    The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently released a report looking into the progress made by Race to the Top states (RTT). From this vantage point, it comes as no surprise that there are difficulties. Read more

  • June 24, 2011 - 3:00pm

    This month's survey explored a number of federal issues including:

    • Has ESEA reauthorization stalled?
    • What current Federal policies should be waived?  What shouldn't be waived?  
    • Which state is most likely to win the next RttT competition?
    • What are Insider reactions to the new early childhood education grant?
    • Is the elimination of federal literacy programs just a blip or a signal of a shifting federal priorities away from literacy?
    • Are we experiencing a technology bubble in K12 education?
    • What is next for the Gainful Employment regulation?  Do Insiders believe there will be legal and legislative action taken to stop its implementation?

    And much more including a new regular feature tracking the 2012 Presidential Election Cycle.   Read more

  • March 1, 2011 - 2:00pm

    President Obama's fiscal year 2012 budget comes at important crossroads in both education reform as well as fiscal reform.  The $3.7 trillion budget request would reduce the deficit by $1.1 trillion over the next decade, two-thirds of which would come from spending cuts through a five-year freeze in discretionary spending. 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.   

      Read more

  • 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

  • By John Bailey
    December 21, 2010

    During his 18 years teaching disabled students in Paterson, Robinson hurled classroom chairs, punched a boy in the chest for failing to do his homework and shoved another kid against a blackboard until he cried, staff and students said.

    Robinson still insists he had a gift with children. But he admits that using cocaine after school early in his career sometimes made him “preoccupied.”

    “Immediately after work, I’d have a line or two,” he told The Record in August. “I been teaching so long, you can function with your eyes closed.”

    That’s probably true, thanks to the extensive job protections for teachers in New Jersey. Because Robinson was tenured, it took more than four years of legal proceedings to fire him, costing the state more than $100,000 in legal costs.

    Throughout the case, the district had to hire a substitute for at least $120,000 and pay Robinson $283,864 in wages — even after the state Division of Youth and Family Services concluded he’d physically abused children.


      Read more

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