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  • Race to the Top for School Districts: More Federal Education Intervention

    The Obama Administration’s new Race to the Top District (RTT-D) competition, a competitive grant program on top of the more than 100 programs the Department of Education (DOE) already operates, entices cash-strapped school districts with another $400 million to implement the Obama education agenda.

    For the past half-century, federal education funding and control have been growing at the expense of state educational autonomy. The last thing our struggling education system needs is for local school districts to become dependent on Washington for education funding, further centralizing school-level policies in the hands of federal bureaucrats.

    RTT-D is an offshoot of the original Race to the Top (RTT), the Obama Administration’s $4.35 billion competitive grant program to states carved out of the “stimulus.” The DOE says the new district-level program will “help schools become engines of innovation”:

    Race to the Top, launched in 2009, has inspired dramatic education reform nationwide, leading 45 states and the District of Columbia to pursue higher college- and career-ready standards, data-driven decision making, greater support for teachers and leaders, and turnaround interventions in low performing schools. The next phase proposes to build on those principles at the classroom level to support bold, locally directed improvements in learning and teaching that will directly improve student achievement and educator effectiveness.

    Concern about the Administration’s push to nationalize the content taught in schools across America through the Common Core State Standards led some states to pass on the original RTT competition. States like Alaska, Texas, and North Dakota have never applied for RTT grants. Under the new district-level competition, the feds will appeal directly to school districts, offering up millions in exchange for adoption of the White House’s preferred policies.

    Applicant districts must agree to implement the four core components of RTT (common standards, teacher evaluations, data systems, and the Administration’s school turn-around model), and must secure school board and teacher union buy-in for their application.

    The DOE notes that all school districts with more than 2,000 students are eligible to apply, including those districts in states that did not apply for RTT grants. While smaller school districts may pull together to apply for a grant, the 2,000-student minimum biases larger districts, making it unlikely that small rural school districts will be winners of one of the 15–25 grants that are awarded.

    The Administration has demonstrated a pattern of circumventing Congress on key education policy issues. It set an arbitrary deadline for No Child Left Behind reauthorization, and when Congress (in the midst of a thoughtful debate about the future of the nation’s largest education law) failed to meet it, began offering strings-attached waivers to states that agreed to implement the White House’s education agenda. Now the Administration will circumvent states that have chosen not to apply for RTT grants and dangle up to $40 million each to districts willing to toe the line.

    It’s another step in centralizing education control and a continuance of Washington-centric education policy that has burdened taxpayers, encumbered states, and failed students for the last half-century.

    Posted in Education [slideshow_deploy]

    3 Responses to Race to the Top for School Districts: More Federal Education Intervention

    1. Andrew says:

      According to the Associated Press, as much as $60 billion in U.S. funds has been lost to waste and fraud in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade through lax oversight of contractors. This framework of letting contractors take on the past responsibilities of the Federal Government is same agenda that this article is promoting. Yet once again, conservative organizations fail to acknowledge both sides of the argument. If you want efficiency, strengthen government oversight, but if you want less government control then realize that greedy contractors will also exploit your plan. But don't blame Obama for this dilemma in your political logic!

    2. DavidGeorgeDeLancey says:

      What about paying for our education at a scale of what it is worth. We can do this by assuring that {"My-Five-Issue-Plan"} will be a law biding achievement based on the survival of the country.

      David George Delancey for President and I am acknowledging this presidential attempt not assuming it. Thank You

      2:53 P.M. E.S.T. 8/18/2012

    3. 7:02 A.M. E.S.T. Independence, it is a gratitude to have a common relationship with each other in America a league of United States. For centuries we have been promoting advancements and technology, another technique to survival has been what we rely on. We work, but what exactly is it to work. When we study are we still at work. Study it happens in the venture and concept of the mind. Of course we are challenged with the opportunities to study, the offerings are tremendous.

      How thankful are we to are citizenship and other coexisting relations. In the broad beginning of the United States of America we will see education as a promoted course along time, and before the creation of the United States. It was an establishing of the past, present, and future; That is a learning degree in the making.

      Then our ancestors were to build upon what was leadership. By learning and offering, their availability, the thankfulness, perhaps went to the leadership of parenthood and of course we have the adoption benefactors.

      Was it free..?, that depends on the start of it all. Lets start with satisfaction and opportunity. In years before we can see the educational matter starting with authority. There had been the circumstance of Kings and Queens and the authority of other circumstances. One would enter a land and seemingly if a gathered establishment did not format an agreement to share a citizenship in the relationship of commerce based on trading and family relations than the oppressive would re-enter and take what was to be. Through authority and even diverse agreements one could establish ground while captivating another. This progress would lead to the establishing of more land and a somewhat prosperity.

      The thing is a lot of our gaining through prestige beginnings allowed many to have a certain type or kind of authority. Depending on the capture and or relation ones captivity could be of great armour.

      Being established now grants more authority and the sequel goes on. Although through other diverse, perhaps misleading ventures and capabilities a gathering of sort can get used to a certain productivity, an offering if you may.

      I'm jumping over a huge hurdle here, but what the heck. Money and concept are the two important evaluational studies of our time. It may be that in the sequence of money and of course concepts things have not changed. But try donating all you have when you have more than the other, the rules begin to be diverse. It is no longer an equal conception of value; although through the one capitalistic venture it is. And that can become a form of war if the diverse societal promotes discretion.

      Achievement that for sure is the course for an independent course and value. But how does it start..? Does it start with unfairness and an unbalanced competition. That is what usually happens and has been since the entry of America. Although through certain legislative opportunities then in America during the 17th and 18th centuries there were property-beings that were essential to the kind of society. When one obligating source and or force becomes diverse in the degrees of establishing just for themselves it than begins the cycle of a different type and form of independence. Independence has always been it is the dependence of society that creates a gathering as to be well affiliated with an independent value of freedom and surety. Example: The area is secured and the walkway even leveled to drain the water as to then keep one dry, a satisfaction for sure. Independence is the satisfaction of being able to do what you want. What is it; there is to be done. Of course we are talented to accept the diversity and challenges of the past, present and future techniques. Thankful we are to those that give us opportunity.

      We pay for the things we have by… That sentence now has to be finished by the other diverse capability. /Though please take not that today in our 21st century it does take money. And since money is being used as a tooling degree we should well appreciate it's factors… Please continue once again.
      /We operate today with the availability of challenge and diverse capabilities. The functioning properties of our society are established by a monetary. This system now in operation needs a fix, a secured balance. In order to create a well established functioning property with using today's method our (National Monetary System) we as the system must rely on certain factors.

      The main factor of establishing an understanding that through a balanced secured system we as a public must agree on the conception of using it. We as the public are recognized as being an asset, this has already been going on for some time. It is the balance of understanding how a unit being used can progressively mature and with prosperity. Prosperity is another collectiveness of an Independent, it has to be a recognized capacity and usage for another concept to achieve. Altering this availability will bring a unreliable form of competition to the field of educational matters.

      8:00 A.M. 8/26/2012

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