kitchen table math, the sequel: Did Congress Authorize Race to the Top?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Did Congress Authorize Race to the Top?

Brookings Institute article.

There is nothing in the text of the ARRA, or in the portions of the two other statutes to which it points (the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the America Competes Act), that authorizes, requires, or even suggests that states competing for funds would need to adopt common state standards, create more charter schools, evaluate teachers and principals based on gains in student achievement, emphasize the preparation of students for careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or restructure the lowest 5 percent of their schools.

Yet the grant program the administration designed to implement the provisions of the ARRA, the U.S. Department of Education’s Race to the Top initiative, included each of these policy priorities, and states had no chance of winning unless their applications were built around them.

Let's Do The Numbers
Economic Policy Institute Briefing Paper #263
(p. 7) In sum, Massachusetts’ willingness to permit the public to comment on its academic standards, combined with a few quirks in the weighting system, cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars.

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