Friday, August 27, 2010

"Race to the Top" judges perplexed by local control, O'Brien says

An article in the Denver Post about the reactions in Colorado, which did indeed get robbed with two crazy reviewers who gave the state scores more than 100 points lower than the other three reviewers.  Rewarding Colorado for its bold reforms is one of many important reasons that RTTT should receive funding to become an annual, ongoing competition.  It is insane for the feds to be doling out money to states without demanding reforms in return:

State Sen. Michael Johnston, the Democratic freshman lawmaker who wrote the legislation, said the loss of funding won't be a problem.

The estimated $240,000 needed to cover the salaries of employees implementing SB 191 is covered by dipping into a reserve fund. Another federal grant is up for grabs to pay for parts of a new assessment system and federal money already has been granted to pay for school turnaround efforts, he said.

"This would have been nice money to have," Johnston said. "But there is nothing that will cease to exist without this funding."

Unions under fire

Some reformers, however, are blaming the powerful Colorado Education Association and most local teacher unions for refusing to support the state's application in the second round.

Judges' comments, which will be released to the public today, reportedly downgraded Colorado's application for lack of union support.

"It seems pretty clear to me that in Colorado, if the CEA would have supported this, then Colorado would have likely won," said Van Schoales, director of Education Reform Now, a Denver-based education advocacy group.


"Race to the Top" judges perplexed by local control, O'Brien says

By Jeremy P. Meyer and Jessica Fender
The Denver Post

Posted: 08/24/2010 09:11:38 AM MDT

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