You'll Find Out When You The Reach The Top of Race to the Top, You'll Realize You're on The Bottom.


The U.S. Education Department said Tuesday that nine states and the District of Columbia will get money to reform schools in the second round of the $4.35 billion "Race to the Top" grant competition.

Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island and Washington, D.C., will receive grants, department spokesman Justin Hamilton said. The amounts for each state were expected to be announced later.

The aim of the historic program is to reward ambitious changes to improve schools and close the achievement gap. The competition instigated a wave of reforms across the country, as states passed new teacher accountability policies and lifted caps on charter schools to boost their chances of winning.

More here.

"Historic program." What a low bar for history. The feds just kicked more than $10 billion to education in flat-out stimulus money, which came on top of $100 billion released to the hounds in 2009. To the extent that reforms such as lifting charter school caps and holding teachers accountable for their work are happening, they were in the pipeline long before Race to the Top was even a twinkle in Arne Duncan's pants pocket. Expect to hear very little down the road about the long-term effects of this contest, as the larger waves of actual school reform (read: decentralization and parental choice) kick in due to actual discontent.

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  1. Is it just my imagination, or are the ten lucky winners a mix of blue states and battleground states?

    What a coinkydink!

    1. I wasn’t aware that Georgia and North Carolina become blue or battleground states now.

      1. North Carolina is

        1. And New York, despite being a thoroughly Blue State, is a huge battleground for congressional districts featuring endangered Democrats

  2. Hey! Why don’t we get a link?

  3. “Race to the Top” grant competition

    Clearly the “Top” referenced here is the top of the pile of grant money.

  4. Arne Duncan = somewhat reasonable

  5. Even in a fucking recession, we can’t stop the politicians from bribing the scumbag mother fucking parasite teachers. We’re fucked.

  6. I resent the fact that Florida did not receive a hyperlink.

    However, I’m happy that we can go for the full $1 billion school, so we can kick California’s ass. Again.

  7. Florida will squander this money because the people who run schools, 9 out of 10 times, are complete idiots. They’ve risen in the ranks by repeating embarrassing corporate-speak poorly translated into education-speak and somehow managed to impress their even more idiotic superior (repeat the word “rubric” and some low watt educator will think you’re really smart). When somebody is completely full of idiot-speak, they might get a job “downtown” (administrator in the district, not the school). There is no greater argument for private education than the collection of morons “downtown”. It’s like a bad caricature of people running around all day saying and doing absolutely nothing and using big words and grand schemes to accomplish it. It’s a human Rube Goldberg machine. And year after year the unions negotiate contracts based on the lowest common denominator, and that’s what they end up getting. Then there is no “future generation” worth a bloody spiddle because anybody worth anything goes to a regular job that pays. You can’t even negotiate your own contract if you want to. You take what the union screws up and calls a deal.

    And yeah, a couple hundred million bucks is going to make this all OK.

  8. The first step in reforming a chronically dysfunctional organization is to fire the current leadership. With schools, I expect that will happen One Day Real Soon Now.

  9. You’ll Find Out When You The Reach The Top of Race to the Top, You’ll Realize You’re on The Bottom.

    And I see you again.
    Yeah yeah yeah.

  10. I think this is the bill that a specific provision targeting the State of Texas requiring the state to commit to providing matching funds and dedicated spending for at least IIRC four years out.

    This is a constitutional problem for Texas because neither the governor nor the legislature can constitutionally make a spending commitment binding on the next legislative session.

    The sad thing is, our own Democratic federal representatives stuck us with this. They wanted the Federal control over the state’s education decisions and they didn’t want the state to spend the money as they say fit.

    1. Yah, it is a serious problem. Texas should sue.

  11. Oh, and everything this government does is “Historic.” Says so on the label anyway.

  12. One of the criteria for winning is Turning around our lowest-achieving schools. Which may explain why the DOC won. It’s actually a brilliant plan.

    1) Use vouchers to outsource student to private schools. \
    2) When they are sufficiently ahead of their public school peers, revoke vouchers.
    3) Send them to the “lowest-achieving schools” thus ensuring that they will perform high during the next round of evaluations.

  13. “The aim of the historic program is to reward ambitious changes to improve schools and close the achievement gap.”

    The “achievement gap”, is that between different schools or is that the gap between achieving and non-achieving students?

  14. “Historic program.” What a low bar for history.

    Apparently you didn’t get the memo: Every goddam thing that Barack Obama does is “historic” because he’s the first black president.

    No, I am not talking out of my ass. Chocolate Jesus visits a fucking hamburger joint and it’s ‘historic.’

  15. My state was #11 on the list – missed the pig-out by 3 points, losing to #10 Ohio. Of course, the NJEA is blaming Christie:…..ace_t.html

    @Ken Schultz: sarcasm detector needs to be rewired, so not sure if you are serious or not about achievement gap question. Generally, the achievement gap refers to the latter concern in your comment, and is broken down along racial/ethnic, gender, and SES lines when examining specific causal factors in student performance.

    1. Your sarcasm detector is functioning perfectly, I was being both sarcastic and serious…

      I wanted to know the distinction they were making, and a top down solution to bridging the gap between two different people’s achievements seems a bit silly to me.

  16. Home school! It is the last refuge against the institutionalization of government over your children. Even private schools are institutionalized in many ways. (although clearly, private school is a vastly superior option to public if you can afford it)

  17. Also, the surest way to ferret out the worst of the statist authoritarians is to discuss home school. The worst of them want it outlawed completely, which makes perfect sense if you are a maoist…

    1. the new “Toy Story” movie glorifies day care. It creeped me out. Our kids were “babysitter deprived”, maybe used one 3 times. Home Parenting, Home Schooling. what a concept.

  18. I wonder how New York will spend its federal dollars, considering they have professional educators like this on their rolls:…..rk-schools

  19. The U.S. Education Department said Tuesday that nine states and the District of Columbia will get money to reform schools in the second round of the $4.35 billion “Race to the Top” grant competition.

    Florida, Georgia, Hawaii

    Aaah, yes, Hawaii, that hotbed of reform and good school governance that recent caved to union demands and cut their school instructional days to the lowest in the nation.

    Talk about throwing money into a bottomless pit.

  20. “Has Federal Involvement Improved America’s Schools?”

    Nifty chart: “Inflation Adjusted Federal Spending and Achievement of 17-year-olds, %change since 1970.”

    The change in federal spending from 1970 to 2007 is 100%, and the change in “achievement” is about -2% or so.

    Also from Cato:…..-not-more/

    Since 1970, %increase in US school enrollment is about 10%, but the increase in spending is about 97%.


  22. I wasn’t aware that Georgia and North Carolina become blue or battleground states now.

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