Posts Tagged ‘ARRA’

Twenty States Win SLDS Grants

Monday, May 24th, 2010

The Institute of Education Sciences announced the winners of the State Longitudinal Data Systems grants last week. All 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands applied, and 20 states were awarded funding from the $250 million available.  The full list of award winners is:

By Nancy in News
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Obama Administration Sees Crucial Role for Manufacturing Sector

Monday, April 5th, 2010

Last week, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner visited the Allegheny Technologies Inc.(ATI)  metals factory in Pittsburgh, PA to highlight the strength of the U.S. manufacturing industry.  “This is a sector that will play a critical role in helping to spur our economic recovery and contribute to our long-term prosperity,” Geithner said. The visit also included meetings with representatives of United Steelworkers and U.S. Steel. ATI produces titanium, zirconium and stainless steel for aircraft frames, jet engines, chemical plants and other industrial uses.

On Friday, President Obama visited Celgard, Inc. in Charlotte, NC, a manufacturing company that is using $50 million in Recovery Act  funding for investments in clean energy. The President stated, “This investment is expected to create nearly 300 jobs for this company, more than a thousand jobs for your contractors and suppliers — and these are all jobs helping America build the batteries that will power cleaner and more efficient cars and trucks.  And through investments like this one across the country, we’re already seeing an incredible transformation.” You can read his full remarks here.

By Nancy in Public Policy
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Obama Administration Releases ESEA Blueprint

Monday, March 15th, 2010

This weekend, the Obama Administration released its blueprint for revising the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) with the goal of raising expectations of students and rewarding schools for producing dramatic gains in student achievement. The blueprint builds on the reforms currently being undertaken through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, including:

Many of these priorities align to the areas of focus in NASDCTEc’s ESEA reauthorization recommendations.

Of particular note in the blueprint is the administration’s plan for funding for assessments in the law, which CTE could be a part of [emphasis added]:

“States will receive formula grants to develop and implement high-quality assessments aligned with college- and career-ready standards in English language arts and mathemat­ics that accurately measure student academic achievement and growth, provide feedback to support and improve teaching, and measure school success and progress. States may also use funds to develop or implement high-quality, rigorous statewide assessments in other academic or career and technical subjects, high school course assessments, English language proficiency assessments, and interim or formative assessments. Beginning in 2015, formula funds will be available only to states that are implementing assessments based on college- and career-ready standards that are common to a significant number of states. The program also will support competitive grants to consortia of states, and to other entities working in partnership with states, for research on, or development and improvement of, additional high-quality assessments to be used by multiple states in such areas as science, history, or foreign languages; high school course assessments in academ­ic and career and technical subjects; universally designed assessments; and assessments for English Learners and students with disabilities.”

CTE may also benefit from the proposed grant program to increase access to accelerated learning opportunities  that help students prepare for, or directly provide, college-level work such as dual enrollment and early-college programs.

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will testify before both the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and the House Education and Labor Committee on Wednesday to discuss the blueprint.

By Nancy in Legislation, Public Policy
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Meet the Press Discussion on Education Reform

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

The discussion about education reform took center stage on Meet the Press on Sunday November 15.  There was a freewheeling, 25 minute  discussion between moderator David Gregory and guests Arne Duncan, Newt Gingrich and Al Sharpton.  Duncan, Gingrich, and Sharpton have been touring schools across the country to find out what works, what needs to change and what students expect in the classroom.  This bi-partisan group has embarked on this journey together to show that politics should not get in the way of the important need to reform education. 

Although there was no specific mention of CTE during the discussion this conversation touched on a number of topics that are important to all sectors of education.  This includes the role of charter schools, the importance of accountability, the goals of the Race to the Top fund, the challenge and impact of drop outs, teacher recruitment, and the importance of setting expectations for students, parents, teachers, and all who are involved in the education system.  The panelists also talked specifically about what they learned from visits they made to schools in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Tucson. 

If you would like to watch this interview you can see it on the Meet the Press website at

By admin in Legislation, Public Policy
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ED Stakeholders Forum: Race to the Top, Investing in Innovation, and SFSF Phase II

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Education hosted the second in a series of monthly Education Stakeholders Forums, where they share updates and information about timely education issues with representatives from schools, organizations, state and local governments, and other interested individuals.  This month’s forum focused on the Race to the Top funds, the Investing in Innovation grants, and the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund Part II requirements.

Deputy Secretary Tony Miller reiterated that all of these programs will take into account efforts to address the Department’s four reform areas — standards and assessments, effective teachers, data systems, and struggling schools — when considering grant applications.

Joanne Weiss, Director of the Race to the Top Program, explained that states will have two opportunities to apply for funding – once in the fall of 2009 and once in the spring of 2010.  This gives states who do not win a grant in during the first application period to apply again next year.  States that win a grant will not be eligible to apply during the second application period.  She also outlined the proposed priorities for applicants which were released in the Federal Register last week.

Jim Shelton, Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement, spoke about the Investing in Innovation grants.  The key design principles for these grants include: outcomes, evidence, learning, sustainability, and scalability.

Ann Whalen, Special Assistant to the Secretary, reviewed the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund Phase II reporting requirements.  These proposed metrics include 3 descriptors and 30 indicators in the categories of Equity in Teacher Distribution (8), Improving Collection and Use of Data (2), Standards and Assessments (14), and Support for Struggling Schools (9).  More information on these proposed requirements can be found in last week’s Federal Register.

The Department also provided stakeholders with a concise summary of all of the ED ARRA grants, which you can read here.

By Nancy in Public Policy
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ED releases ARRA grant applications, more to come

Monday, July 27th, 2009

The Education Department July 24 released draft language for its $4.35 billion centerpiece education reform grant program, among others; and announced its plans to soon follow up with guidance and applications for the remaining federal grants under the FY 2009 and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds.
The language in the programs’ guidance and applications establish the expectations and parameters in which the education community, including CTE, must adhere to in order to compete for the unprecedented amount of funding the Obama Administration is injecting into the education system over the next several years. Stakeholders speculate that the language will reflect a framework for the Obama Administration’s plans for the reauthorization of the No Child left Behind Act.
President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced the draft application for the Race to the Top Fund via a live Web cast today. The public has 30 days to comment on the fund’s proposed priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria. ED plans to offer grants in two phases. Phase one will open late in calendar year 2009. Phase two will open in late spring 2010.
ED also released applications for the $315 million from the Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems program, which would fund states that expand data systems to track students’ achievement from pre-K through postsecondary and link their achievement to teachers and principals. Applications for these funds are being posted today.
Finally, ED also published proposed requirements, definitions, and approval criteria for Phase two of the $48 billion State Fiscal Stabilization Fund, which permits states to apply funding to some education-related use. Phase two provides access to $12 billion, the remaining amount offered to states after phase one. The public has 30 days to comment on the proposal.
In coming weeks, ED said it will publish draft regulations on the:
•$650 million Investing in Innovation Fund, which supports partnerships among school districts and nonprofits to launch or expand research-based innovative programs that help close the achievement gap and improve academic achievement overall.
•$297 million Teacher Incentive Fund, which targets programs in which states and districts create or expand performance pay and teacher advancement models that reward teachers and principals for increases in student achievement and the number of effective educators working with traditionally underperforming students.
•$3.5 billion Title I School Improvement Grants. ED would support states’ efforts in reform efforts implemented in struggling schools and that focus on implementing turnaround models in the lowest-performing schools. Secretary Duncan set a goal of turning around the bottom 5 percent of schools in the next five years.
•$919 million State Educational Technology Grants, which could be used to bring technology equipment into the classroom.
ED will host a Webinar 2 p.m. today to review ARRA programs funded through ED. Public is welcome to participate. Registration is required.

By Erin in Legislation, Public Policy
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ED announces Race to The Top application draft

Friday, July 24th, 2009

President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan will announce the draft application for the $4.35 billion Race to the Top Fund at 12:15 EST today via a live Web cast.
The application draft for the program, which was funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, has been much anticipated by the education community as it is a significant amount of funding dedicated to a broad range of programs that can demonstrate effective reform.
Thus far, the draft indicates that it will award state grants for past accomplishments and create incentives for future improvement in four critical areas of reform: adopting rigorous standards and assessments; recruiting and retaining effective teachers, especially in classrooms where they are needed most; turning around low-performing schools; and establishing data systems to track student achievement and teacher effectiveness.
The public has 30 days to comment on the fund’s proposed priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria. ED plans to offer grants in two phases. Phase one will open late in calendar year 2009. Phase two will open in late spring 2010.
Also speaking at the Friday Web cast will be Gene Wilhoit, executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers; Jean Clements, president of the Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association; Mike Feinberg, co-founder of the KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program) Foundation and the Superintendent of KIPP Houston; Eric Smith, Commissioner of Education for the state of Florida; and Matthew Austin, a student at Washington D.C’s Howard University Public Charter Middle School of Mathematics and Science.

By Erin in Public Policy
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