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Archive for the ‘grants’ Category

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families is proposing a new rule that would require Head Start programs to compete for their funding if they fall short of quality benchmarks, according to Education Week. They would be judged by a classroom assessment tool developed by the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education. Under the new rule, 25 percent of the Head Start centers would be competing for funds.

The public can comment on the new rule until December 21.

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A wiki document, recently released by the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL), calls to attention the virtual learning items in all 19 finalists’ applications of the Race to the Top grant competition, Education Week reported. It revealed that the 10 winning states had strong online learn proposals and were ready to use Race to the Top funds to offer more online opportunities.

Here’s a highlight of some proposals:

  • Massachusetts’ application featured already-existing efforts to direct federal stimulus funds toward creating competency-based online and blended learning courses that mix face-to-face and virtual lessons for alternative school students.
  • New York is noted in the iNACOL report for the statewide technology plan it adopted in January that calls for exposing all students to online and blended learning opportunities.
  • Georgia’s plan indicated an interest in completely replacing seat-time standards, both in online and traditional classes. Rhode Island’s pointed to a similar, already-established system.
  • In Ohio’s application, the state’s Credit Flexibility Plan, which is being extended to all the state’s schools for the first time this fall, allows students to gain high school credit through alternative experiences that include online learning, internships, educational travel, or dual enrollment in a college course.

Read the entire article.

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The U.S. Department of Education needs help awarding the $4 million Race to the Top Fund grant under the economic-stimulus program. The department is looking for about 50 to 80 outside judges who have a strong background in education policy and who are less interested in high-stakes education reform.

The department is expecting states to submit grant applications later this year and the applications will cover areas all across the education spectrum such as; teacher quality, data systems, common academic standards and ways to turn around struggling schools.

Teacher unions, colleges of education, charter school advocates, school districts and state officials will have a say in who receives the grant funding as well and have a bit of interest in who judges the applications. Some are worried about conflicts arising and are concerned that those who are given the chance to look through the applications might have their own interests at heart and will not be completely unbiased in their selection process. 

States should remember that Secretary of Education Arne Duncan made it clear that the department will only be awarding Race to the Top funds to a select number of states and he has not given a clear indication of how many states will win the grant. There might be more losers than winners.

 For more information about the Race to the Top Fund Grants, visit: http://www.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop/index.html.

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