Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Race to the Top winners announced:

STOP THE PRESSES!!!  It is pure genius for Duncan to only select two states as first round RTTT winners, as 20+ states will now scramble to implement reforms like these two. 

Regarding the two states that won, both of which had strong union support, my initial reaction was, "Ugh! This empowers the unions to block reforms." But I was wrong: yes, it gives them veto power, but if they use it to water down reforms, their state won't win, and they will rightly be blamed, so it really puts HUGE pressure on them. Brilliant!

Sure, some state and city unions are very militant and won't budge – but not all of them are, so RTTT creates a counter-weight to their internal politics (which is usually very focused on job security above all else, even protecting horrible teachers) and thus real change will likely happen in many states (sadly, I suspect not DC or NY).  

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