Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What Race to the Top really requires

Here is what the US Department of Education says our signing on to the Race to the Top (RTTT) fund contest actually entails – willingness of all participating local school districts to “change their practices.”

Race to the Top: Joanne Weiss & Running the Race from Education Week on Vimeo.

Did districts really understand this when they signed on to support our RTTT application?

How much and what are we really committed to change if we take the RTTT dollars?

Will the feds largely wind up running Kentucky’s public education system?


Anonymous said...

Nice theory but she didn't get the Kentucky message. In Kentucky the legislators first question is always 'what does the union think?' or a courageous, well informed statement like 'if the union thinks this is okay then it must be okay!' Kentucky got consensus at all levels by changing nothing and spicing status quo with a couple of surveys. Who cares what the strings attached? Nothing will change except a new spin script because Kentucky doesn't have any leaders with the courage to change education status quo.

Richard Innes said...

RE: Anonymous Feb 17 at 10:26 PM

Your doubts certainly have historical precedent in Kentucky, but with RTTT we are talking federal intrusion into education on an unprecedented scale. This may be a new ball game.

Read the article "School accountability in Rhode Island" I posted on the 18th about a high school in where all the teachers are being fired. That's apparently also a first, but it is coming thanks to federal as well as state law.

Race to the Top rules we just committed to sound remarkably similar to the rules being followed in that Rhode Island situation.

Could our feet be held to the RTTT fire if we take the federal money?

It is certain that even the feds are fed up with persistently low-achieving schools, so it will be interesting to find out what will really happen.