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  • Why Texas Skipped the "Race to the Top"

    President Barack Obama’s $787 trillion failed stimulus included a $4.3 billion set aside for Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s “Race to the Top” fund. States that jump through the right Obama administration hoops can win up to $750 million in stimulus cash.

    But yesterday, Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) announced that Texas will  become the first state not to participate in this next step toward the  creation of national education standards. Brooke Dollens Terry of the Texas Public Policy Foundation explains why:

    • Education has historically been a state issue, with power in Texas delegated to the Texas Legislature and the State Board of Education. Texas lawmakers control funding and school requirements, and the State Board makes decisions about curriculum. All of these are elected positions directly accountable to the voters at least once every four years.
    • States such as Texas may have to spend state funds to access the federal dollars. The Texas Education Agency estimates that Texas will have to spend $3 billion just to have the chance to access, at most, $750 million.
    • The federal funding will dry up. As we are seeing with other stimulus funds, states and local school districts would need to find funding for the reforms after the federal money goes away.
    • What if the “reform” could be a step backwards for quality of a state’s education system?
    • Education is a state issue, and the federal government has no business dictating academic standards or curriculum to states. Washington, please leave Texas alone.

    It seems that if Texas continues to hold out on moving towards a national curriculum, Texas will lose points on its application for Race to the Top funds. Why should a state that has steadily improved the rigor of its own K-12 curriculum be forced to adopt national curriculum standards that have not been developed and could wind up being weaker than what we already have in place?

    Since adding more math and science course requirements and college-readiness components, Texas is in the process of updating its textbooks and designing state end-of-course exams that align to the new curriculum. Yet if Texas were to scrap its own curriculum in favor a national curriculum, Texas would have to spend an estimated $3 billion – $2 billion to purchase new textbooks and $1 billion to redesign our state tests.

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    8 Responses to Why Texas Skipped the "Race to the Top"

    1. Pingback: Tennessee’s Sovereignty Resolution vs. the Race to the Top | Tennessee Tenth Amendment Center

    2. Jane, Midland says:

      Great decision. KBH is criticizing him for it, but Perry is right on the money.

    3. Jack in Central Texa says:

      I think it is time, make that passed time, for Texas to again remember that it is a Republic and quit playing nice with the so called United States government. Secede and get it over with.

    4. Catherine Greenlaw says:

      I love the Republic of Texas! Don't allow the Feds to indoctrinate our children with the anti family socialist agenda.

    5. Willie A Russell Jr says:

      Way to go Texas. Keep up the good work.

    6. Oliver in North Cent says:

      Way to Go, Governor Perry!! It is my belief that the Republic of Texas should stay off the obama pay list. We do not need Federal Intervention in our state affairs nor do we need federal (taxpayer) funds which handcuffs our Great State to outside requirements. Keep up the good work and let's see if we can't start working on the Texas version of new Illegal Immigration law enforcement.

    7. Damon friendswood says:

      proud texan fight the tyranny!!!!!!!!!

    8. Roberta Carol says:

      As a teacher in the 70's and early 80's, a dept. chair instructed the teachers to keep the students writing every day,taking notes every lesson; and it isn't important that they use correct grammar or spelling; what's important is that they have to express themselves. I taught art. I tested my students with the vocabulary and processes I taught. They could either intently concentrate on what I said and visualize their own hands working through process or they could take notes. The students that took notes failed a test; those that pay close attention did extremely well. The senses work in specific ways. "Seeing" and "hearing" are interrupted by the motion (which is another sensory ability) interrupts the required processes needed. The notes end up having no meaning. We were well on our way to coddling the massive number of immigrants in this NJ school district. Hundreds of thousands of dollars were also being spent on translations for about 35 languages, teachers to teach or translate for them. The dumbing down was in process.

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