U.S. Faults State’s Progress on Race to the Top Goals
Good for Arne Duncan for holding NY's feet to the fire – it must have been one contributor to Bloomberg's strong stand tonight:
New York is one of three states on the federal government's watch list because it has not yet complied with the goals it set when applying for financial assistance through the federal Race to the Top program.
In a strongly worded statement on Monday, the education secretary, Arne Duncan, said that despite "significant progress," New York had "hit a roadblock" in recent months, failing to put in place a planned database to track student records across school districts and failing to fulfill a promise to adopt a system to evaluate the work of teachers and principals.
The state has not fallen as far behind as Hawaii, which was warned last month that it risked losing its federal grant over delays in adopting a teacher evaluation system. But New York's progress, along with that of Florida, has been slow enough to raise concerns.
"New York has a chance to be a national leader, or a laggard, and we are only interested in supporting real courage and bold leadership," Mr. Duncan said. "Backtracking on reform commitments could cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars."
Through the Race to the Top program, New York has received about $700 million, at least half of which was to go directly to school districts.
U.S. Faults State's Progress on Race to the Top Goals
Nathaniel Brooks for The New York Times
Richard C. Iannuzzi, president of the state teachers' union, called the education commissioner, John B. King Jr., "a bully" on Monday because he had suspended grants to failing schools.