1. Budget and Appropriations
-Jobs and Healthcare took center stage in Washington this week, with the Senate taking action on a small but important bill that the House then expanded and adopted. This is the first in a series of jobs bills designed to spur economic growth that will dominate legislative conversation in the Capitol for many months---that and healthcare.
-In this heated climate the possibility of moving an education bill looks to some like a collegial act. Tom Harkin and George Miller announced a series of seven hearings on the reauthorization of ESEA and their intent to mark up a bill by the end of May.
-Arne Duncan has also been in the Capitol talking about his agenda for education, and it seems there will be many of these types of hearings and meetings for some time to come.
2. ED Announces RTTT Finalists
-On Thursday, the Department of Education announced that fifteen states and the District are finalists in the first round of the Race to the Top's competition for a portion of the program's $4.35 billion.
-States competing for the Race to the Top funds were asked to complete an exhausting application that documents past education reform successes and outlines plans to: extend reforms using college and career-ready standards and assessments; build a workforce of highly effective educators; create educational data systems to support student achievement; and turn around their lowest performing schools.
-There will be more on the finalists and their applications in the coming weeks.
For more information on the announcement and ED's process, visit: http://www2.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2010/03/03042010.html 
3. In Brief
-ED releases draft of Technology Plan
-America's Promise announces Grad Nation Campaign
-Achieve releases 5th annual "Closing the Expectations Gap" report
-Child Nutrition programs examined at House Hearing
-Science and Technology Committee examines STEM education reform
-AYPF holds event on succeeding with out-of-school youth
Be sure to also check out sections #4 (New Publications) and #5 (In the News) for articles of interest.
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