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The Daily Churn: Thursday

Updated, 4 p.m.: The Clark County (Nev.) school board has decided to vote next Wednesday on whether to select Colorado Education Commissioner Dwight D. Jones or Dallas Independent School District Superintendent Michael Hinojosa as the next superintendent of the Clark County School District. Representatives of the board will travel to Colorado and Texas between now and then. See story from the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Updated: Jefferson County Public Schools and Colorado Springs District 11 have been awarded nearly $50 million to pilot performance-based compensation plans for teachers. The U.S. Department of Education announced $442 million in Teacher Incentive Grant funds this morning, with 62 winners in 27 states. See Jeffco’s updated press release here about the program, which has been in the works for three years. You can learn more about it at www.jeffcostrategiccompensation.org.

District 11’s award is $15 million while Jeffco’s amount is $32.8 million. The grants are over five years. You can read the press release and see the list of award winners, as well as brief summaries of their proposals, on the federal website here. We’ve been following the Jeffco proposal and will post a detailed story after the press conference.

* Federal officials initially listed the grant award at $22.6 million, the amount sought by Jeffco in its initial application. But after federal officials asked the district whether it could include more schools in its pilot, the award amount grew.

What’s churning:

Colorado’s education commissioner, Dwight Jones, and his competition, Dallas Schools’ Superintendent Michael Hinojosa, answered some tough questions Wednesday about past problems. Jones talked about charging the state for personal cell phone calls while Hinojosa took responsibility for a $59 million budget shortfall, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported in this story.

Today, the two men go through interviews with the Clark County, Nev., school board, for the job running the nation’s fifth-largest school district. There’s been speculation that, with one finalist dropping out, the board could ask its search firm to come up with other candidates. But the head of the teachers’ union there doesn’t think that will happen, the Dallas Morning News is reporting here .

In fact, there’s some speculation the board could make its pick today. The board has structured its agenda so that it could vote on a new superintendent today, even though board members have said previously they’d make a decision next month.

A reporter from Westword, Denver’s alternative news weekly, has been following Denver school board member Andrea Merida around for several weeks, compiling information for a profile. That profile hit the streets late yesterday, and you can read it online here.

What’s on tap:

Littleton’s school board is scheduled to meet at 6:30 p.m. tonight at district headquarters, 5776 S. Crocker St. We’d link to the agenda but Littleton Public Schools appears to be one of the few metro-area school districts that doesn’t post it online. There’s a link – but it doesn’t work.

Good reads from elsewhere:

  • Facebook windfall: Newark schools getting $100 million from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
  • Those wacky Texans: Conservative members of state panel claim textbooks have pro-Islamic bias.
  • Whistling past the graveyard: Duncan predicts D.C. reforms will continue.

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