Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Race to Top Leaves Some School Reformers Weary

With all due respect to my friends Andy Smarick and Jeanne Allen, who are quoted in this article in today's WSJ, I think they are much too negative on the impact of Race to the Top.  Nobody ever expected that it would single-handedly drive "revolutionary changes from coast to coast," but it has led to significant legislative action in many, many states (which should not be dismissed as "inconsequential") that would not have occurred without it.  These parts of the article are spot on:

Several states, including Louisiana and New York, pushed through major legislation just last week.

Delaware and Illinois mandated teacher evaluations be tied to student achievement. Michigan and Massachusetts passed laws allowing state intervention in low-performing schools or districts. Tennessee and Iowa eased restrictions on the number of charter schools, public schools typically run by private entities created to foster competition in public education.

Peter Cunningham, spokesman for the education department, said that while his office was "stunned" at what he saw as the quick pace of legislative changes, "education reform is a journey and Race to the Top has advanced us on the journey," he said. "We have a lot further to go."

…Tim Daly, of the New Teacher Project, pointed out that education reform is an incremental process. "Race to the Top has accelerated the conversation about school reform and that is a major victory," said Mr. Daly, who supports performance-based teacher evaluations.


  • JUNE 1, 2010

Race to Top Leaves Some School Reformers Weary


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