Obama-Biden Education Change
Many scientists and science educators believe that today there are reasons to focus on science that are just as compelling as those that emerged following the launch of Sputnik in 1957. An important driver behind the thinking is the realization that our country is driven by the personal choices the individuals in our country make, and so many of these choices now and in the future are science-related. How long can we actually make the right choices for future generations when only 65 percent of the adults in our country know that carbon dioxide is a gas linked to rising temperatures, or only 47 percent of adults know what percentage of the earth’s surface is covered by water? ( American Adults Flunk Basic Science, California Academy of Sciences omnibus survey, 2009)
What Can Be Done?
What changes are in store for NCLB and will they be supported?
According to Secretary Duncan, revising NCLB (No Child Left Behind) is necessary, and the changes would involve raising academic standards, as well as increasing the flexibility schools have for addressing the needs of low-performing schools. But can President Obama’s administration gain the support needed to make the required changes to the law in time -- before the 2012 election activity begins? The Christian Science Monitor (1/20/11)
continue about lack of emphasis on history in schools?
History teachers claim that the amount of class time dedicated to history still continues to decrease, and that often the time it does receive is because it is addressed in combination with language arts, a subject placed high on the list because of years worth of NCLB... CNN (1/18/11)
Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010
The act establishes nutritional guidelines for all food provided in schools and also expands federal school-meal and farm-to-school programs... FoodSafetyNews.com (12/13/10)
the incoming new Congress impact the education agenda?
Both sides of the aisle believe that NCLB needs to be changed, but it is unlikely that this task can be completed in 2011. Furthermore, Representative John Kline, incoming Republican chairman of the House education committee, reportedly will support attempts to reduce the role the federal government in local schools... The New York Times (12/11/10)
Ban the ban?
A law prohibiting schools from teaching a Mexican-American studies class is set to take effect on Dec. 31, but 11 teachers have now filed a lawsuit against state education officials to bar that implementation. The teachers claim that the classes have helped to curb dropout rates and disciplinary problems while simultaneously increasing attendance and achievement among Mexican-American students... CNN (10/20/10)
does PISA really tell us?
The mediocre performance of U.S. students on the 2009 Program for International Student Assessment tests, especially when compared with their counterparts from Shanghai, has caused a national furor. But some feel that the comments largely miss the point. Education writer Valerie Strauss points out that the scores of U.S. students have remained at similar levels for years, and that we can see from this that an increased focus has not been effective in actually improving student achievement... The Washington Post/The Answer Sheet blog (12/7/10)
state superintendent criticizes Duncan and U.S. Department of Education
Alabama state superintendent fires off letter on criticizing the Race to the Top criteria, the push for competitive grants by the Dept. of Ed., and Duncan himself. Read this letter. (9/1/10)
What are the main points?
Read an analysis of the letter's content posted by David Griffith, ASCD Public Policy Director of ADCD, formerly known as the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD). (9/7/2010)
States to work together on new generation of tests
Two groups comprised of representatives of 44 states, testing specialists, and university professors, receive $350 million to begin work on new national standardized tests slated for implementation in the 2014-15 school year... The New York Times (9/2/10)
round results in the Race to the Top
Nine states along with the District of Columbia will share $3.4 billion in funding, completing the second round of funding in the Race to the Top competition. Read on... Yahoo/The Associated Press (8/24/10)
billion bill signed into law
As students get ready to head back to school, President Obama signs legislation that Democrats claim will save over 300,000 jobs for teachers, as well as police and other government workers. Republican lawmakers claim the bill is wasteful and politically motivated... Yahoo/Associated Press (8/10/10)
million on the line for 49 finalists
The U.S. Department of Education announces the finalists for the Investment in Innovation grants... Google/Associated Press (8/4/10)
organizations make recommendations on Capitol Hill
Twenty major education organizations representing an array of disciplines release a set of consensus recommendations on how the federal government can better support academic subjects outside of reading and math, as well as expand the definition of college and career readiness, ensure funding for the other subject areas, etc... Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) (7/29/10)
Obama and Secretary of Education Duncan defend policies to Urban League
The President and Secretary of Education defend their education agenda at a meeting of the National Urban League, one of eight civil rights groups that recently said those policies -- especially the Race to the Top competition -- failed minority students. Obama and Duncan claim that what has actually hurt minority students has been those that resist change in education... Google/The Associated Press (7/29/10)
Obama's education plans face divided election-year battles
A number of President Obama's key education reform plans, including revision of the 2002 No Child Left Behind Act and funding to prevent teacher layoffs, have failed to advance, and appear to face an uphill battle in the future... The Washington Post (7/28/10)
to the Top finalists announced
18 states and the District of Columbia are named by Duncan as finalists in the second round of the Race to the Top competition. Secretary Duncan calls the Race to the Top part of a "quiet revolution" in education reform, and cites the states' efforts to implement changes (e.g,, charter schools, adoption of new national common standards, and tying teacher evaluations to student achievement) as the cause of their selection. In September, at the conclusion of the competition, 10 to 15 states will each receive a part of the available $3.4 billion in grant funds... The Christian Science Monitor (7/27/10)
joins in endorsing Common Core standards
And number 30 is (drum roll, please) Florida! Read on... Orlando Sentinel (Fla.) (7/27/10)
meets with leaders of eight civil rights groups
Eight civil rights groups, including the NAACP, have recently released a report criticizing the Obama administration's education policies, including the Race to the Top competition. Leaders of those groups have now met with Secretary Duncan. The result? Read on... USA TODAY/The Associated Press (7/26/10)
of states supporting national standards swells
More than two dozen states have now endorsed the recently completed national academic standards for math and language arts. Massachusetts, Washington, D.C., and New York are the most recent additions. Though support in the past for such a move has been weak, this one has some momentum, thanks in large part to, yes, you've got it, money. The Race to the Top competition considers states' adoption of the standards among its criteria... The Washington Post (7/21/10)
Though typically thought of as having some of the most rigorous standards in the nation, Massachusetts this week made good on its commitment to adopt the new national common core standards. Read in this blog about the approval process, the contents of the standards, and more... Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) (7/21/10)
report: National standards "clearer and more rigorous" than both ELA
and math standards in 33 states
Apparently, according to Fordham, the new Common Core Standards are clearer and more rigorous than the ELA standards in 37 states and the math standards in 39 states. They are clearer and more rigorous than both ELA and math standards in 33 states. Yet, even according to Fordham, some states come out on top (at least in ELA) -- namely California, Indiana and the District of Columbia. As well, when comparing various states with the nationals, there are many match-ups that are considered by Fordham to be "too close to call." More than two dozen states, and counting, have now adopted the standards... The Washington Post (7/21/10)
on the Common Core Standards...
Get the full report from the Fordham Foundation, and see how Fordham thinks your state stacks up, at:
Join the debate "Will National Standards Improve Education?"
in with experts over whether states should sign on to national common
standards. This New York Times blog post features supporters, including
Michael Goldstein, head of MATCH Charter School, and Richard D.
Kahlenberg, senior fellow at Century Foundation, who say the standards
will improve education, particularly for struggling or at-risk
students. It also features critics, including University of Arkansas
professor Sandra Stotsky, who says that the common curriculum will
weaken the system and standardize mediocrity.
Go to the NYTimes.com/Room for Debate blog (7/21/10)
should California adopt common standards?
Read this editorial on why CA should adopt the national common standards... Los Angeles Times (7/15/10)
Supreme Court upholds earlier federal court decision on NCLB
Though the Obama administration is attempting to rewrite the law, there are still financial penalties and other sanctions against schools that do not make the required AYP (annual yearly progress). The old question of whether the federal government can do this has now been decided by the Supreme Court. Their answer is yes, regardless of who believes that states or districts are not receiving adequate funding from the federal government to meet these goals... Google/The Associated Press (6/7/10)
core academic standards released
The final version of U.S. common academic standards for English and math was released on June 2 to the public by the NGA (National Governors Association) and CCSSS (Council of Chief State School Officers). Many states, such as Maryland, have indicated that they will adopt the standards in some manner. Others, such as Virginia (as well as Texas and Alaska) have decided to not participate. Why the difference? The Washington Post (6/3/10)
an unintended consequence of No Child Left Behind
Do you agree with former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor when she says that an "unintended consequence" of the No Child Left Behind initiative has been a decrease in civics knowledge. Well, welcome to iCivics... Designed Instruction's EdLog (June 2010)
and Kentucky sign off on national academic standards (before they are
Maryland and Kentucky on board early with endorsement of national common standards So far, Maryland and Kentucky are the only states to sign on to the national reading and math standards. This before they are even introduced, as part of their effort to qualify for more Race to the Top funding... The Washington Post (5/26/10)
teacher evaluations be tied to student achievement?
It is a significant part of the Obama administration's efforts to reform the nation's schools, Some oppose, but some, such as the editorial board of The Washington Post, write in support. Read on... The Washington Post (5/26/10)
Department of Education repeals Bush-era Title IX policy
Under the new federal Title IX gender equity law, schools are now required to provide evidence that they offer equal opportunities for athletic participation. No longer can they simply use the results of a survey to prove a lack of interest in starting a new women's sport, and consider a non-response to the questionnaire as disinterest, as allowed under the 2005 policy. "Making Title IX as strong as it possibly can be is the right thing to do," Vice President Biden said Tuesday at an event at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., announcing the change... USA Today/ Associated Press (4/20/10)
effort underway to overhaul student assessment
$350 million is being allocated to states to create new assessments tied to the U.S. common standards in mathematics and English, and an additional $10.7 million toward innovative methods that will make tests more accessible to students with disabilities and special needs... eSchool News (4/16/10)
on student assessment...
have until May 27 to apply for $10.7 million to go toward making tests
more accessible to students with disabilities. The program is called
"Enhanced Assessment Instruments." In order to be eligible, states must
join together with a research facility or institute of higher learning.
The partnership then must develop a system to evaluate student
achievement that can be used to track students' progress over time. The
system must employ multiple measures from multiple sources. Find out
California math wars?
The recent debate over the upcoming national common standards has stirred educators and mathematicians in California to an extent reminiscent of the state's "math wars" of the 1990s. Find out why... San Jose Mercury News (Calif.) (3/30/10)
and Tennessee get nod in Race to the Top funds
Federal officials announce that Delaware and Tennessee have been selected in the first round of the Race to the Top awards. Each state has passed laws that, in the view of the federal government, promote statewide reform in education. The states were chosen out of 41 applicants, and states still seeking to be awarded funds have until June 1 to submit for the second round of grants... The Washington Post (3/30/10)
funding for school technology at an end
Changes in the federal budget proposed by President Obama could spell an end to funding for the Enhancing Education Through Technology program. Education technology would still receive funding, but that funding would be integrated into the overall education budget... T.H.E. Journal (2/3/10)
will replace AYP?
The use of AYP, or Adequate Yearly Progress, the benchmark measure by which states are judged under NCLB, is being done away with. What is not clear, however, is just what will take its place... The Washington Post (2/2/10)
revision officially part of Obama administration's goals
The NCLB push is on again, only this time it will focus on changes rather building support for the law as it presently stands. The revision of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB), is now an official goal of the Obama administration. The revisions mainly sought include flexibility and $1 billion in federal aid to fund programs that emerge as a result of the new reform efforts... The Washington Post (1/28/10)
of the Union Address 2010
Read about President Obama's State of the Union Address (January 27, 2010), where he feels we presently stand in the area of education, and what may be in store in the future... Designed Instruction's EdLog™ Announcements (1/28/10)
incentive to states to raise academic standards
Have we seen a lowering of expectations in states' standards in order to meet NCLB requirements for student achievement under NCLB? Yes, and now is the time to change that, according to Manhattan Institute senior fellow Marcus Winters in this opinion article. Here is why it happened, and how it should happen in the future... Los Angeles Times (1/18/10)
billion to go toward averting educator layoffs?
On December 16, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 217-212 to redirect $23 billion in TARP funds toward state and district efforts to avoid teacher layoffs. Now all eyes are on the Senate... Designed Instruction's EdLog™ Announcements (1/4/10)
to the Top...
...funding guidelines were announced on November 12, 2009. The funds, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) signed into law last February, will go toward "ambitious yet achievable plans for implementing coherent, compelling, and comprehensive education reform," according to the U.S. Department of Education Web site. For more information about criteria and deadlines, visit: http://www.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop/index.html
To be eligible for the next round of stimulus funds, Secretary Duncan says that states will have to provide details on academic standards and turnaround strategies they plan to use in order to ensure teacher quality. The funds are worth $11.5 billion, and they are not tied to the Race to the Top funds... USA TODAY/The Associated Press (11/10/09)
announces availability of $650 million in education grants
As part of the $4.35 billion Race to the Top fund, the funds will award up to $50 million for large-scale innovations to improve education on a regional or national level, up to $30 million for already successful reforms, and up to $5 million for local innovation... The Washington Post (10/6/09)
The President and top education officials believe that more time in school (longer days and years) would go a long way toward boosting student achievement. Here why... The New York Times/The Associated Press (9/27/09)
calls for change in NCLB in 2010
In support of the accountability required due to NCLB, Duncan nevertheless hopes the law can go further in respecting the "honored, noble status of educators." USA TODAY (9/23/09)
Read the advice Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus gives to President Barack Obama... The Washington Post (9/23/09)
debate fairness of Race to the Top rules: Are they fair?
Check out the National Journal's Education Experts blog where contributors (27 experts, including Arne Duncan) debate the fairness of Race to the Top criteria. A number of issues will be contended regarding the stimulus disbursement of $4.35 billion in grants for education. For example, the criteria compels states to connect student performance to teacher and administrator evaluations... National Journal/Education Experts Blog (8/3/09)
describes Race to the Top goals
President Barack Obama outlines his plans and goals for the $4.3 billion Race to the Top fund of $4.3 billion... The Washington Post (7/24/09)
National education standards will encounter difficulties
There is supposedly support for national education standards from 47 states. The administration is behind it. Yet, some predict there is a lot of difficult ground to still to cross in establishing common standards for K-12 students throughout the United States... The Christian Science Monitor (6/28/09)
college financial aid
Eligible students who have not been applying for federal grants maay soon be allowed to use the information from their tax returns along with a shortened application... The New York Times (6/23/09)
cash incentive offered to states agreeing to national standards
Sunday at a conference hosted by the National Governors Association and the James B. Hunt, Jr. Institute for Educational Leadership and Policy, Duncan offers federal cash incentives to states for developing national standards for reading and math to replace a current hodgepodge of benchmarks in the states... USA TODAY/The Associated Press (6/14/09)
states agree to draft common education standards
Forty-six states and D.C. announce an effort to craft a single vision for what children should learn each year from kindergarten through high school graduation, an unprecedented step toward a uniform definition of success in American schools... The Washington Post (6/1/09)
dollars at risk for states that do not embrace charter schools
Secretary Duncan warns that states using caps and other measures to restrict formation of charter schools may wind up not receiving any of the $5 billion set aside by President Obama to encourage the development of innovative programs in districts and states... The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)/The Associated Press (5/28/09)
possible answer to the problem of failing schools
Arne Duncan and President Obama believe that a way to potentially cure the ever-present condition of poorly performing schools is to close the schools and than reopen them with an entirely new staff. This could include as many as 5,000 of the country's underperforming schools over the next five years... USA TODAY/The Associated Press (5/11/09)
House seeking input on NCLB
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has embarked on a 15-state "listening tour." The intent? He and the Obama administration wish to determine which parts of NCLB should stay and which should go. "What do we need to do to get better?" he began by asking teachers and parents at Bunker Hill Elementary in West Virginia... The Washington Post/The Associated Press (5/5/09)
round of stimulus funds released
Approximately $44 billion goes out to states in the first round of stimulus funds disbursements... Google/Associated Press (4/1/09)
Obama wants "opportunity drive up college graduation rates": Duncan
determined to deliver
Read this interview with Secretary Duncan as he discusses how this could come to be a reality. It's about saving teaching jobs, promoting a strong reform agenda, adding time to the school day, getting rid of poor teachers, rewarding excellent teachers, and getting tighter on quality standards and benchmarks while getting looser on the ways to help students reach those goals... The Washington Post (4/1/09)
threatens to come down "like a ton of bricks" on states that divert
economic stimulus money
Though President Obama has said that the economic stimulus could save countless teaching jobs, some states may not actually spend that money in the manner intended, leaving an administration unhappy... The Boston Globe/Associated Press (3/31/09)
ObamaÕs speech: "We cannot afford to let it continue."
President Obama gives his biggest speech yet on education. WhatÕs on the table? Fewer restrictions for charter schools, a longer school year, merit-based teacher pay, a longer school year, tracking of progress for individual students... Reuters (3/10/09)
of student loan program imminent?
The Obama administration is proposing big changes to the college loan process. By processing the loans directly from the federal government instead of through private lenders, Duncan thinks that more students will be served, money will be saved, and grants will be increased... The New York Times (2/26/09)
Check out the White House press release on the proposal (above).
in a name?
Duncan's mention of renaming, or "rebranding" as he called it, the NCLB law brings interesting comments... The New York Times (2/22/09)
to spend $100 billion?
Check how the education funds in the stimulus will be used... U.S. News and World Report (2/18/09)
provides an opportunity for change
The $787 billion economic stimulus signed into law February 16 by President Obama did not contain everything he and Education Secretary Duncan wanted. For example, school construction funds did not make it through the combined House and Senate version. The plan will still, however, double the federal education funding over the next two years. It will fund the Head Start, Pell Grants, IDEA, and Title I. It should also be what is needed to bring about the change the voters asked for... USA Today / The Associated Press (2/17/09)
Duncan claims that $5 billion of discretionary money in the stimulus package will support The Race to the Top Fund. This money will be used to help reward teachers and to develop better tests and data systems for tracking student achievement... The Washington Post (2/14/09)
portion of stimulus package under negotiation
House and Senate leaders revisit education allocation in the stimulus package following omission of billions in the Senate version Tuesday. Read on... U.S. News and World Report (2/10/09)
bill drops large portion of funding for education
The U.S. Senate version of the economic stimulus package contains a great deal less aid for education than the House version, but it is still "vast"... The New York Times (2/9/09)
opinion of NCLB...
Duncan: "I think we are lying to children and families when we tell children that they are meeting standards and, in fact, they are woefully unprepared to be successful in high school and have almost no chance of going to a good university and being successful." Read on... U.S. News and World Report (2/5/09)
out of reach?
A study shows that two out of three Americans believe college is out of reach financially, even for students who are qualified to attend... USA Today (2/4/09)
Lady visits Education Department
Michelle Obama speaks to the staff at the U.S. Department of Education. She offers "thanks" and notes that education will indeed be at the forefront of many of the Obama administration's efforts... The Washington Post (2/2/09)
in the old?
It seems the past U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings will remain in Washington until 2010. So, what will she be doing? Read on... USA Today (2/1/09)
funding could be vital
According to many, the proposed $141 billion in education funding will help not only traditionally underfunded areas such as Title I and the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, but will also contribute dramatically to jumpstarting the U.S. economy... U.S. News and World Report (1/29/09)
stimulus package change the face of education for the better?
So some argue. Read on... International Herald Tribune (1/28/09)
Obama Effect improve student performance?
Study indicates that President Obama's example may improve the confidence of young African-Americans, resulting in better test performance... The New York Times (1/22/09)
to get $142 billion, but with strings
The economic stimulus proposal will pledge nearly $142 billion over the next two years. The figure is more than what is allocated toward health care, energy, or infrastructure projects, and many believe it is a major step toward finally funding No Child Left Behind... USA TODAY (1/19/09)
to get bailout money?
Some have been asking for it, and now it may happen, though differently than many anticipated. The proposed federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Bill includes approximately $141 billion for education. Read on to find out what areas may receive funding and how much... U.S. News and World Report (1/16/09)
votes to expand State Children's Health Insurance Program
The bill, passed by the House with a vote of 289 to 139, now heads to the Senate. If passed, it should raise the number of children in the program to around 11 million... Yahoo!/Reuters (1/14/09)
vows to "scale up what works" to raise student achievement
At his Senate confirmation hearing, Duncan also says that the Obama administration intends to expand early childhood programs, encourage charter schools, improve teacher training and recruitment, reduce the high school dropout rate and increase college access. He called education a moral obligation, an economic imperative and "the civil rights issue of our generation." Read about the hearing... The New York Times (1/13/09)
Margaret Spellings, outgoing U.S. Secretary of Education, gives advice to Arne Duncan as he prepares for his new role as U.S. Secretary of Education... The Washington Post (1/12/09)
Diane Ravitch, professor of education at New York University education and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, gives advice to Arne Duncan as he prepares for his new role as U.S. Secretary of Education... The Washington Post (1/12/09)
plans schools upgrade
President-elect Obama says that school renovations will be included in his upcoming economic stimulus plan. Although the amount he intends to dedicate to much-needed repairs has not yet been disclosed, educators say his sweeping school modernization program could give student achievement a boost... USA TODAY/The Associated Press (12/30/08)
reason for Duncan?
Many supporters of Obama believe there were some excellent reasons for his choice of Arne Duncan as Secretary of Education. One is Duncan's penchant for experimentation. In his seven-year tenure, Duncan turned Chicago schools into virtual laboratories. Will the nation follow suit? Read on... The Washington Post (12/30/08)
The Obama administration might stress the need to address hunger and obesity in our nation's schools. Tom Vilsack, the governor of Iowa and Obama's nominee for agriculture secretary, said he is looking to place nutrition at the top of the list in all food-assistance programs. Congress is scheduled to develop plans to reintroduce nutrition programs in schools in 2009... The Washington Post (12/24/08)
priorities: Early childhood persists
During his campaign, President-elect Obama pledged to invest $10 billion in early childhood education. Should these plans go forward, they would represent the largest early childhood initiative since Head Start in 1965. Despite the recession, Obama's transition officials say the plans are still on... The New York Times (12/16/08)
high for new Secretary of Education
Many find Duncan, 44, an avid reformer, respectful of unions, open to other views, the right person for the job... Chicago Sun-Times (12/16/08)
Duncan gets the nod
Chicago schools chief, known for taking tough steps to improve schools while maintaining respectful relations with teachers and their unions, is President-elect Obama's choice as Secretary of Education... The New York Times (12/15/08)
will Obama side?
Will he side with those who want to abolish teacher tenure and otherwise curb the power of teachers' unions? Or with those who want to rewrite the main federal law on elementary and secondary education, the No Child Left Behind Act, and who say the best strategy is to help teachers become more qualified? Read about the debate... The New York Times (12/13/08)
calls on Obama to appoint Internet safety specialist
A report from Family Safety Online Institute urges President-elect Obama to appoint a national safety officer to serve under the chief technology officer, a position Obama has promised to create. The suggestions call for research to the tune of $100 million and for a focus on educating teens about Internet safety issues, such as cyber-bullying... The Washington Post (12/11/08)
commissioners meet with Obama advisor
Education chiefs from 10 states meet with Obama education advisor Linda Darling-Hammond. The group began discussions regarding recommended early moves by the Obama administration, as well as how states could begin a process of changing their relationships with the federal government... Kennebec Journal (Maine) (12/3/08)
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