Saturday, January 31, 2009

Innovation and Rigorous Research

See this terrific article in Ed Week about bringing the "D" back in R&D and the apparent tension between research and innovation. We don't think it is an either/or proposition. In fact, if effectively positioned and funded, R&D should be a leading edge catalyst for education innovation and ultimately transformation. What say you, dear readers?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Stimulating Education in the Stimulus Package

Wow! …Education and the Stimulus Package --- Lots and lots of speculation early last week about the size and shape of the economic stimulus package and then on Thursday the House Dems unveiled a $825 billion package containing $275 billion tax cuts, and $550 billion in targeted priority investments with “unprecedented accountability measures”. A key provision in the proposal is $79 billion State Fiscal Stabilization Fund which includes funds evenly split between Fiscal Years 2009 and 2010 (money for school years 2009-10 and 2010-11) for the following:

$13 Billion for IDEA special education
$13 billion for Title I. of which $1.2 billion is for the School Improvement grant program
$1 billion for education technology state grants
$25 million for charter school facilities
$200 million for the Teacher Incentive Fund
$250 million for statewide longitudinal data systems
$15 billion is set aside for “State Incentive Grants” for FY 2010 for states that have made significant progress in meeting the three above objectives.
$325 million for an Innovation Fund for academic achievement awards for States, local educational agencies, or schools to “… to work in partnership with the private sector and the philanthropic community; and to identify and document best practices that can be shared, and taken to scale based on demonstrated success…”
Also for the National Science Foundation $60 million for Noyce Teacher Scholarship program $40 million for Math Science Partnership.


Wow! What a week this will be in DC. The city is soooo energized. In our 33 years here, we have never seen anything quite like this. We will be out and about attending reunions, receptions and perhaps a ball…and, of course, the festivities down on the Mall and along Pennsylvania Ave on the 20th. You can follow it all via the . We will be sending out this Knowledge Alliance statement on Tuesday.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

"You can't print knowledge"

“Tax Cut for Teachers” Check out this excellent article by Thomas Friedman about a new stimulus idea. Take not of the quote in the second to last paragraph “…You can print money, but you can’t print knowledge. It takes 12 years.” Love it!

Starve the Beast?

Starve the Beast --- See this big debate in the blogosphere about the how the financial crisis might stimulate a whole new era of reform in education. We heard a similar thesis during our members forum in November. What compels change and transform? And what stake does knowledge have in the change process? What do you think?

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Back in Action

The new Congress (the 111th) starts off with a bang on January 6 with swearing-in ceremonies, Electoral College vote counting on Jan 8, and a very ambitious agenda before the Inauguration. While Minnesota, New York and Illinois sort out their empty-Senate-seat dilemmas, the new Congress will be moving quickly on confirmation hearings, a growing stimulus package, and FY 09 appropriations. Whew! For more 411 on the 111, go here (Yep, that’s Wikipedia--- amazingly accurate and up to date).

Education and the Stimulus Package

While specifics are slim, it looks like the much discussed economic stimulus package that will be taken up by Congress in January contains a school renovation package. But the National Governors Association is pushing hard for flexible block grants to states including a $250 billion package for education. Sounds to us like the stimulus package might become a political football full of pork. Tough stuff during a severe budgetary crisis at the state and local levels.