Inflation-Adjusted Title I Budget Back to Pre-George W. Bush Level via Thompson (Andy Brownstein plus special appearance by Wayne (CRS) Riddle).
Inflation-Adjusted Title I Budget Back to Pre-George W. Bush Level via Thompson (Andy Brownstein plus special appearance by Wayne (CRS) Riddle).
There's a good long piece in the latest Washington Monthly looking into what happens to federal laws after they're passed, titled He Who Makes the Rules, that makes some good reading for any education watchers.
While it focuses on non-education issues (Dodd-Frank implementation), it tells the story of how the regulatory process -- rules, interpretations of Congressional intent, public comment, and final determinations -- can make or break the statutory language that Congress passes and a President signs into law.
"It may seem counterintuitive, but those big hunks of legislation, despite being technically the law of the land, filed away in the federal code, don’t mean anything yet."
Who cares what happens to a law once it's passed? I can think of at least three education examples where rulemaking has played a big role: (1) the 2002 passage of NCLB, which was followed by some frenzied rulemaking around such hot topics as highly qualified teachers, tutoring (SES), and AYP; (2) the more recent passage of what became Race to the Top, extremely brief statutory language that blossomed into a much bigger, broader program; and, (3) the higher education regulations and rules surrounding Title II teacher quality grants (about which I know frighteningly little except they've been hotly debated and delayed).
As you'll see from the TWM story, a committed group of individuals can carve up a law they don't like by attacking language and swarming the process. It's been a while since that's happened in K-12 but if anything big ever happens and one side or the other (or both) doesn't like it, they know that they can probably get things changes further down the line, after most folks have moved onto other issues.
Duncan statement on #cpsclosings: “No educator ever wakes up in the morning wanting to close a school..."
How powerful groups (think higher ed) can use the rulemaking/regulatory process to block statutes they don't like ow.ly/jmBeX (The Washington Monthly)
Smart poor kids still don't apply to highly competitive colleges despite scholarships etc. ow.ly/jlKtW
From Jay Mathews: Why my grandson, 4, won’t be taking a gifted ed test: My eldest grandson, Ben Mathews, just ...bit.ly/ZN23Xt
Think you could turn a school/district around better? That's what the star of Apple & Target thought about JC Penney ow.ly/jmZgy
"Hey, wait a second, you're reading Carol Dweck? I'm reading Carol Dweck!" ow.ly/jlI25
That's singer/performer Rihanna, at Barrington (IL) High School, where she appeared four hours late on Friday and stayed for less than a half hour. Via Instagram.
Associates say that [Duncan] sometimes gets frustrated at the lack of access and a sense of being kept on a fairly short leash by the White House. -- Al Hunt in Bloomberg (Why Does Obama Keep His Cabinet All-Stars on the Bench?)
The hearing starts at 10. The above is just a screenshot. Here's a link to the committee site -- the video is not embeddable, far as I can tell (and according to the staff I talked to). One of the highlights may be EdTrust president Kati Haycock's critique of the waiver approval and implementation process, notes HuffPosts's Joy Resmovits, though I don't think it's anything particularly new she's saying.
Behind the scenes, some civil rights and accountability types admit that the waivers might end up being preferable to what Congress would have done in a reauthorization. Speaking of reauthorizations, DFER's Charlie Barone thinks that one might still happen (for better or worse).
We know closings can destabilize [communities]. But it doesn’t mean every one will be a civil rights violation.
-- USDE's Civil Rights guy Seth Galanter
Safely back in Chicago after four years commuting to DC, former USDE communications chief Peter Cunningham shares his thoughts about the ups and downs of working in the Obama administration, the differences and similarities between working for a local Board of Education and the US Secretary of Education -- the local reporters are more obnoxious, apparently -- and what makes Arne Duncan better than most other appointees and elected officials.
Finally on the HotSeat, Cunningham credits Joanne Weiss for making Race to the Top a big success, and Carmel Martin for the NCLB waiver program. (Despite all my feeble attempts to give him credit/blame for naming RTTT, he says it wasn't him.) Cunningham describes how difficult it is to do parent engagement from Washington, and says that "edujobs" was one of the projects he's most proud of during his time in DC.
Check it out and see what you think.
You may have seen this already but it wasn't until today when I was looking around for images of EdSec Arne Duncan at the Inauguration that I come across his twitpic from the Inauguration in which Beyonce and Jay-Z are seen trying to avoid Al Sharpton's questions about lip-synching. Anyone seen a picture of Duncan at the event? I'm still looking.
Read this EdWeek story (Chicago Years Inform Ed. Secretary's Views on Gun Violence) and you get the clear impression that the White House is reining in EdSec Duncan on gun control right now. Usually unconstrained on policy issues, open to the press, and Obama's go-to guy, Duncan's post-Sandy Hook Elementary remarks have been muted (and pre-scripted). He won't talk to EdWeek. Why not? He's known as a fan of gun control and an enemy of the NRA, which makes him somewhat toxic right now.
“I’m not planning on doing this forever," said Secretary Duncan. "Just until all 49.8 million kids in our public elementary and secondary schools can graduate." Secretary Of Education Forced To Take Up Stripping To Put Nation Through School via The Onion
Peter "Cowboy" Cunningham is leaving the Duncan education team and heading back to Chicago, according to an email sent last night. He doesn't say what he's going to do but I could imagine him doing something with David Axelrod's new University of Chicago Institute of Politics.
Cunningham oversaw a four-year period in which Duncan started out and remained a White House favorite. There were only a few mis-steps -- the flareup over the Obama back to school speeches, the infamous Duncan line about New Orleans having benefitted from Hurricane Katrina. Cunningham oversaw the quick arrival and departure of PG County's John White as press secretary, and kept Justin Josh Hamilton and Sandra Abreveya in some sort of balance as co-press secretaries.
A colorful-for-Washington character who loves live music and always seems to do his job without taking it too seriously (or necessarily believing what he's selling), Cunningham first came to education "fame" when he coined "Renaissance 2010," the Duncan inititiave in Chicago that was theoretically a big plan about opening more schools but was really a small plan about closing them -- then pulled off much the same trick in Washington, convincing credulous journalists and then state officials that Race to the Top was going to be worth it despite its obvious flaws (lack of funding, a straight removal of the charter cap, ridiculous timelines).
Matt Gandal (right) has left the USDE for a job at Education Strategy Group.
Gandal was at Achieve for a long time, and before that the AFT. More recently, he was heading the USDE's Race To The Top implementation group.
No word yet on how the Department is going to handle that key activity going forward. Amanda Whalen? Maybe it's already happened, or they're waiting until after the election.
I know this makes me a sentimental geek, and I have issues with at least some of the policies they all pursued, but I thought it was great to see the last four education secretaries together onstage earlier this week at Education Nation. (Riley's chair should have been a little higher than the others' given he served two terms, no?) Courtesy NBC News.
The memorial service for actor Michael Clarke Duncan got me looking around for a picture of the Green Mile actor with his childhood buddy, Arne Duncan, and there you go. Little Duncan in red. Big Duncan in organge.
Want more? Click here for an affectionate if possibly offensive Tom Hanks memorial service retelling of a MC Duncan childhood story I'll call "Mama says I can't be in your gang."
An estimated 80,000 fewer kids will get a chance to learn grit and resilience (or the alphabet) if Congress and the White House don't get their acts together and figure out a budget, notes CAP, a Washington think tank that occasionally goes super left (A Head Start for Low-Income Kids).
That smudgy grey thing shooting the ball is apparently EdSec Duncan, who showed up at a Georgetown gym and shot some threes in a Kenner League, according to the Washington Post.
Players and onlookers alike were surprised at the unannounced appearance. One tweeted:
“Either my dad, a bizarro Arne Duncan, or the ghost of Kenner League past just walked in suited up to play in game 2.”
When you're a cabinet official do you just get to join in any game you want at any time, or do you have to make prior arrangements?
Cruious about how your education news gets shaped and delivered to you these hazy days of summer? The process isn't quite as convoluted as Congressional sausage-making but it's not straightforward, either. There's lots of schmoozing and advantage-seeking involved, some pecking order stuff, and a certain amount of wailing and gnashing of teeth.
If I've got the story right about today's mini-story on the new NCLB waivers, the White House decides last night to announce another five states getting NCLB waivers -- including Virginia. (They've got potential items like this lined up from around the various cabinet agencies to keep a flow of good news going in general and on the education front hope to erase the memory of Iowa getting rejected.)
The White House press office takes the lead. The story gets offered to the AP for a 6 am embargo (see story here) The other national education reporters get left out and have to "follow," which papers hate to do with competitors. That's at least partly why, so far at least, we haven't seen anything from the NYT, WSJ, Washington Post, or USA Today. The other reason being it's not that big a story.
By 9, EdWeek gets a story up -- just about the same time as the official release comes out -- from the White House. As of 11, there's still no press release from the USDE press office.
Nefarious? Not at all? Unusual? Not the least (for campaign season). Important? Probably not. But still good to know what's going on behind the scenes, why stories appear in some places and not others, etc. And it's probably quite annoying to education reporters and USDE folks who are used to doing things their own way.
Thanks to whomever posted this photo of Arne Duncan on Facebook. He's standing in front of a representation of each day's tally of high school dropouts set up by the College Board -- sort of an AIDS quilt for education failure. (Those 857 Desks? A Message for the Candidates NYT)
Right about now about half the re-elect campaign probably wants to put Duncan on ice until Labor Day while the other half wants to increase his campaign appearances. Agree with him or not on policy or same sex marriage, he's our guy and has been remarkably disciplined despite carrying a heavy load, so I hope they don't curtail his schedule just because of this. I mean, it's not like he's been photographed dancing and drinking with staff or anything (has he?).
This is Duncan in Wisconsin yesterday. As usual, it's mildly amusing to watch the expressions on the faces of the kids and adults behind Duncan as he speaks. He's not saying anything particular notable.
Hawaii aims to have 100 percent proficiency and erase the achievement gap by 2018... Tennessee aims to have 100 percent proficiency in reading and math on state assessments by 2014. - CAP Report On Race Implementation (What Have We Learned from the States So Far?)
It's Sunshine Week, all about government transparency, and the Obama administration continues to boast about its FOIA record (though not everyone seems to believe them). Seems like as good a time as any to tell the story of how, way back in 2009, I FOIA'd Arne Duncan's meeting schedule and call lists. The White House was giving out a list of visitors and I figured Duncan's meetings should be public, too. Plus I was curious about who he was meeting with and what they were cooking up. Fast forward two and half years to January, 2012, when I received a response. The calendar was redacted (in white, not black). There was no call log information. The time period was limited to January to August, 2009. Click below to check it out. Note that the New Yorker and other publications have FOIAd and received not only guest logs and meeting schedules but also decision memos between the President and his staff. Why those are available and this is not is beyond me. I've appealed the Department's response and anticipate getting an answer to my appeal sometime in 2014.
To go along with this map, Governing magazine has a story about what the non-waivers states like California and Pennsylvania and Texas are planning to do (get other kinds of waivers, most of them).
Most non-waiver states are Republican-controlled and many are planning to do something even if it's not a Duncan waiver. For example, there's the AMO gambit.
A trio of highlights from over the weekend include controversial remarks about the snobbery of wanting every kid to go to college from surging Rick Santorum, a Denver Post editorial noting that only 15 states are tracking how SIG money is being spent, a new paper about the coming national education system from the conspiracy-minded folks at PEPG.
Also, EdSEc Arne ("Jeremy Who?") Duncan excelled in the NBA All-Star Weekend celebrity game.
Most weekends I try and catch up on interesting stories on Twitter at #thisweekined and on the blog (see latest example here).
Here's the video from last week's Duncan speech at Harvard, during which the Secretary again made the case that ideology has come to dominate the education debate. Link here.
You can pass some of the time until the White House NCLB event checking out coverage of Arne Duncan's speech at Harvard on Monday and the reactions it has generated since then. Titled "Fighting the Wrong Education Battles," the speech featured Arne's dogged efforts to point out that there's lots of room to compromise and lots to lose if education supporters fight each other rather than fighting for more and better services and results for kids. Text here. Video not yet posted will be here. Harvard edcast audio interview here. Harvard Gazette coverage here. Pictured: Jeremy Lin, the Asian-American NBA sensation who just set the scoring record for Harvard grads in the NBA (NYT).
It’s going to become very difficult to argue that the Obama administration and Duncan have been obnoxious with their use of the bully pulpit. -- DFER's Joe Williams as quoted in the Hechinger Blog
USDE advance guy Frankie Martinez-Blanco bravely appears shirtless in Washingtonian magazine as part of a story on, well, I'm not exactly sure -- work/life balance, I guess.
He doesn't really need to lose all that much weight. He just needs to tone it up. (I should talk). Bet he's getting some ribbing in the office for this.
Give him credit for going public with his desire to live a more healthy life. Advance jobs, like campaign work, can wreck people's eating and excercise habits.
I got this via GothamSchools' excellent afternoon roundup. They got it from their vigilant monitoring of the Twittersphere.
VP Biden stops to talk to a bunch of kids by the roadside and Duncan steps out to join the party just in case. None of the kids (or adults) seem to notice Duncan standing there until Biden tells them who Duncan is (in charge of the whole education department... and a great basketball player). Then it's back into the car. [Thanks for sending this in!]
I thought I’d heard everything after reading "In Tennessee, Following the Rules for Evaluations Off a Cliff," by the New York Times' Micheal Winerip. But then I read "Florida's Teachers Get Ready to Get Graded" by Laura Isensee and Sarah Butrymowicz of the Miami Herald. Winerip describes how the Tennessee teacher evaluation system was rushed into place due to Race to the Top. Tennessee teachers in nontested grades can chose a schoolwide test and have 50% of their evaluation determined by the test score growth produced by colleagues?!?! Isensee and Butrymowicz report that one half of a Florida calculus teacher’s evaluation will be determined by his school’s test score growth in reading. The state’s director of research, evaluation and educator performance explained the purpose of the law, "What you’re trying to do is isolate the impact of the teacher on the student’s learning." Assessment expert Douglass Harris says Florida’s logic is "backwards." I could think of a few more choice words for the policy. These examples show just how disconnected teacher evaluation is getting from what teachers do. -- JT (@drjohnthompson)Image via.
See what happens when you talk about abolishing the Department of Education? Your brain freezes, and your presidential campaign collapses.
"Rick Perry struggled for several agonizing seconds to remember the last of the three federal agencies he'd cut during Wednesday's Republican primary debate. "Commerce, Education, and the -- what's the third one there?"
Tennessee’s Rules on Teacher Evaluations Bring Frustration NYT (Winerip): The new rules, enacted at the start of the school year, require Mr. Shelton to do as many observations for his strongest teachers — four a year — as for his weakest.
Sexual Harassment Pervasive In U.S. Middle And High Schools, Survey Finds AP (HuffPost): During the 2010-11 school year, 48 percent of students in grades 7-12 experienced some form of sexual harassment.
W.Va. aiming to protect LGBT students from bullies AP: A proposed anti-bullying policy for West Virginia schools acknowledges that sexual orientation and gender identity are common reasons for harassment.
Apple Woos Educators With Trips to Silicon Valley NYT: The representative traveled to Cupertino for the meeting but hung in the background. The sales team wore ties, and the engineers and executives dressed casually. Sales pitches took a back seat to conversations and presentations about how students use computers. via @gothamschools
Excavating key differences among GOP candidates AP: The Republican field mostly opposes giving education benefits or other social services to the children of illegal immigrants; Perry defends Texas's record of doing so.
MORE NEWS ITEMS INSIDE
What Does ESEA Re-Write Mean for Ed Reform on the State Level? Alex Johnston: In taking the fundamental outlines of federal education policy for granted, we may not have looked closely enough... at what aspects of NCLB are essential to preserve, and what’s best left alone, and what’s most in need of an upgrade.
The Latest GREAT News NSVF: Should we succeed in getting GREAT included in the House legislation... we may actually create a new legislative pathway to support high-performing teacher and principal training programs.
Senators Playing Politics with Education: The committee vote was a "stick out the tongue" moment by Sen. Harkin directed at President Obama, as well as Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, for offering states waivers on the current NCLB law.
Harkin/Enzi ESEA Bill Would Formalize Rewards for High-Performing Schools New America: This is one of the few places where we see Congress attempting to create what are known as “communities of practice” – opportunities for schools to come together to share best practices and work together to improve student achievement.
Arne vs. The Rules Title I Derland: One of the overlooked features of Duncan’s new ESEA waiver package is the fact that there is no new money in it. Yet state and local educational agencies are supposed to implement a host of intensive interventions in “priority” schools.
MORE BLOG ITEMS POSTED INSIDE
A quick roundup of views and commentary on the #NCTQ report (which FWIW contrasts with the DFER report on many of the same states):
4 Race to Top States Lag in Teacher Evaluations Politics K12: The report's conclusions about Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Hawaii seem especially troubling.
States move quickly to change teacher evaluations: 33 and counting Hechinger Report: But how will these new policies change what happens in classrooms? Will they lead to improved student achievement? The response on the conference call yesterday was, essentially, we don’t know yet.
Too Much Change Too Fast? EWA: How will the push toward evaluations affect the teachers themselves? Will it result in a measurable improvement in student achievement?
Sea change in teacher effectiveness policies NCTQ: Just two years ago, only 15 states required annual teacher reviews and 35 states did not, even in the most cursory way, recognize that student achievement was of any use in assessing a teacher's effectiveness in the classroom.
UFT continues to drag its heels on supporting NYC's new evaluation systems DFER: The union's stalling has real implications, because NYC can't qualify to apply for the full range of award programs without demonstrating labor support for the new evaluation system.
Policy changes are great, but implementation is the thing that creates changes that could improve outcomes for kids. Let's these state laws turned into action before we let anyone declare victory.
Several folks including the National Journal are now -- finally! -- taking note of just how much Harkin and the Democrats gave up last week during the #ESEA markup, without much of a fight, in order to get just three Republican votes (The Saga Continues). But was that a good call, politically and substantively?
Education Sector notes that the Harkin strategy leaves room for further Republican demands on the Senate floor and in the House (Markup Roundup). What else do they have to ask for? I'm sure they'll think of something.
Title I Derland thinks that it made sense for Harkin to pull and replace his own bill over the weekend, given what happened to stall the Miller plan four years ago (The Lessons of 2007). Well, maybe, if you think movement is absolutely necessary.
If anything, Harkin seems to be working off the playbook of the Obama administration's first two years, during which the White House gave up tons to get its priorities done, sometimes offering concessions in advance of Republican demands. You see, Congressional Republicans might not relish hearing the President bash them for inaction -- Politics K-12 reminds us that this is indeed the plan -- but the Duncan waivers will bail Republicans as well as Democrats out in terms of giving relief states and districts. Republicans don't really need this reauthorization to go through, and neither does the White House. With the waivers in its pocket and the knowledge that the President could veto a bill if it was truly awful, the Duncan team seems generally unconcerned about the shape and speed of the reauthorization.
How much more Harkin (and perhaps Miller) will give up to get a bill through when their allies are so divided over the process is unclear. What happens if the reauthorization plays more than a passing role in the Presidential election is another unknown.