In a story for our latest issue of Education Week, I raised some red flags about transparency in spending stimulus money. I pointed out that the U.S. Department of Education had not posted online communications between lobbyists and agency officials as required by a March 20 directive from President Obama.
You’ll see two files (only one link seems to be working right now) detailing these communications. (UPDATE: A tech-savvy reader of the blog discovered the correct link for the one that doesn’t work, so click here.) Props to Education Department officials for the level of detail in the April 23 document, which details a call or meeting of some sort between five Education Department officials and four lobbyists (representing ACT, the Alliance for Excellent Education, the Knowledge Alliance, and the National Staff Development Council.) It’s unclear whether there were non-lobbyists involved in this discussion, but regardless, they all discussed the state stabilization fund and the data metrics that the Education Department wants in exchange for the remaining one-third of the stabilization-fund money.
And, I’m not sure if we’ve heard this before, but the Education Department plans to require states to provide the data—or their plans to make the data available within the next two years—by September 30, 2009.