After Aid Win, Now Hard Part
We can't rest on our laurels – the hard work of actual implementation has just begun, as this article by Barbara Martinez in the WSJ highlights (with quotes from Merryl Tisch and David Steiner, who deserve HUGE kudos, as well as Joe Williams):
"We know that the hard work is ahead of us," said Merryl Tisch, chancellor of the Board of Regents.
…"I don't imagine it's going to be smooth," said Joe Williams, executive director of Democrats for Education Reform, an advocacy group that played a role in getting legislation passed that strengthened the state's chances for the funding. Mayor Michael Bloomberg "does not have a strong record of negotiating with an eye toward reform. He's negotiated with an eye toward politics," Mr. Williams said. "He's appeased the UFT with unprecedented pay raises and not gotten a lot of reform in exchange."
…Among the other hurdles that the state now faces with the money is coming up with a solution to turning around failing schools. "This country has never done that successfully," said David Steiner, the state's education commissioner, noting that some schools stubbornly stay on failing lists for years.
Mr. Steiner, who was formerly the head of an education school, said the Race to the Top funding also will help change how teachers are taught—arming them with real-world skills rather than just theory. "Teacher preparation fundamentally hasn't changed in a century," he said.
The money will help pay for many of these big changes, but not much more. "What we've been given is the opportunity, the tools," Mr. Steiner said. "Everything has to be built."