What’s happening in the Dropout Nation:

One has to admire a foundation that parlays a private-sector concept such as product placement into its advocacy. But will the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation — the philanthropy that did this earlier this year with its Get Schooled initiative with media giant Viacom — succeed where Walter Annenberg and the Ford Foundation floundered miserably? Read my analysis in Foundation Watch.

Outside the Beltway in Lincoln, Neb., a community conversation about addressing the dropout crisis is underway, while in Detroit and St. Louis, Anthony Bradley of Covenant Theological Seminary argues for parochial schools as an option for parents seeking to get their children away from “criminal cultivators masquerading as schools.”

More woeful dropout news, courtesy of the Donnell-Kay Foundation and its report on Denver’s public schools.

While California’s state officials move quickly to enact changes in order to gain a share of Race to the Top funding, New York’s teachers unions look to scuttle proposals to do the same in the Empire State.