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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Washington State NOT a Finalist for RTTT

From the AP:

Washington state is not a finalist for the competitive federal education grant program called Race to the Top.

U.S. Education Secretary announced the finalists Tuesday morning. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have a chance to win a share of $3 billion.

The states are: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and South Carolina.

Two states, Tennessee and Delaware, were awarded a total of $600 million in the first round of the competition.

22 comments:

Charlie Mas said...

So now the Education Reformers here in Washington can stop talking about this and will stop using it as a reason to make changes. Right?

dan dempsey said...

Arne D is big on BOLD.

Perhaps "NOW" we can dump Arne's superficial junk BS and concentrate on Proven, Effective, and Efficient.

No time like NOW to do so.

What is Randy Dorn's next move?

ParentofThree said...

Randy Dorn is looking to have WA conform to the national standards, needs state approval.

I guess that is for the second round of RTTT funds? (Otherwise, he is a day late and dollar short on his proposal.)

And if approved, then SPS would be forced to change alignment to the national standards. And the MSP would need to be aligned to national standards.

And teachers are going have to be accountable during all that chaos, so they keep their job.

Sounds like more rough waters ahead

TechyMom said...

I read somewhere (proabably here) that the national standards for math were not as good as the new WA state standards. Is that true? When complying with national standards, do we have to use exactly the same standard, or is it ok to have one that is stronger?

dan dempsey said...

Arne Speaks at National Press Club HERE.

It contains a huge amount of BS.

Here are selected samples:

This quiet revolution is driven by motivated parents who want better educational options for their children.

It is driven by great educators and administrators who are challenging the defeatism and inertia that has trapped generations of children in second-rate schools.

It is driven by elected officials and stakeholders outside the school system who value education enough to fund it adequately and give generously of their time, energy and resources.

It is driven by foundations and entrepreneurs that seed the kind of fresh, new thinking that every sector of society needs in order to change and grow and improve.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I'm working on a thread about the new national standards. Interesting stuff.

Ryan said...

The Fordham Foundation said that the national math standards were slightly worse than ours (the difference between an A and an A-), but that the writing standards were much better than our home-grown standards.

This failure lies squarely at the feet of Randy Dorn, and I'd dearly love to know how many thousands of hours and dollars went into writing a failed application.

hschinske said...

So what does this mean for Cleveland, if anything?

Charlie Mas said...

The ratings of student Standards can be a reflection on the rating agency as much as the Standards.

I don't think this means anything for Cleveland as none of their federal School Improvement Grant was tied to Race To The Top.

SPS mom said...

The Fordham Institute provides a comparison of State Standards and the new Common Core Standards:

http://edexcellence.net/index.cfm/news_the-state-of-state-standards-and-the-common-core-in-2010

kprugman said...

The Fordham Foundation does not rate too highly with me. They have never advocated one curriculum over another. Drawing comparisons between standards is mostly a meaningless, purposeless task, when the real culprit in classrooms are the stupid textbooks.

The Singapore authors understood this better than anyone and wrote the standards to supplement their textbooks. One standard, one textbook - keeps everything simple. Why have every teacher tailor their own book - its a waste of time and after 20 years we can all see the results of their labors. They amount to a fraction of what's been spent on Singapore for 12-50 times the expense per student.

dan dempsey said...

And Now a few words from the WEA:

July 27, 2010

Dear Colleagues,

We learned today that Washington is not among the finalists in the second round of the federal government's Race to the Top competitive grant program.

While we are extremely disappointed that the federal government did not recognize the collaborative effort between the governor, the Legislature, parents, other education advocacy groups, local school districts and WEA, the steps we have already taken in preparation for Race to the Top money set a framework for investing in a stronger public schools system. The application process itself proves that we can and will continue to work together to continuously improve public education across Washington.

WEA members and staff began working with Gov. Gregoire and her staff a year ago to develop a package of education reform proposals and initiatives to try to secure Race to the Top Funding from the federal government. The work included many months of solid research including listening to the collective wisdom of our members who spend countless hours in classrooms across our state each year.

Even though we recognize the importance of these federal dollars in the current economy, we -- as educators -- do not approve of the underlying competitive nature of the Race to the Top. While state governments are forced to cut deeply into education spending, pitting one state, one district or one school against another is the wrong approach. The role of the federal government should be to promote equitable access to a quality education for all students.

Given the circumstances we find ourselves in, I am proud of the voice educators and WEA had on our state's proposal. The emphasis on local decision-making is critical. I appreciate the local leaders who decided with their districts that our state's proposal fit their students' needs. I also appreciate the decision of other local leaders who, after careful consideration, believed their circumstances did not warrant joining the application.

While we are no longer in the running for the federal grant, our work has put us ahead in terms of investing in a stronger public schools system to equip our students for challenges they face today and in the future.

Sincerely,
Mary Lindquist
WEA President
===================

What logic!!!!

Push the federal bribery
then talk about the importance of local control.

The Political Leadership class is far removed from membership.

Now there is an Opportunity Gap of huge proportion.

dan dempsey said...

Check out the
Partnership for Learning's RttT statement

Washington's Application Falls Short

Though Washington leaders will not know how the state scored on Race to the Top until September, the message is clear: Our state has a long way to go to ensure the success of every student and our state’s “business as usual” approach simply doesn’t meet the high bar for reform set by the federal government.

===================

How good of them to side with the extortionists. These lackey propagandists push a defective view of RttT's features. RttT has few merits.

Jan said...

Good! Though money is usually better than no money, RttT money came with far too many strings, and with the giving up of far too much local autonomy for my liking. As for the national standards, I browsed through several states' worth of Fordham Foundation analysis yesterday, and it seemed to me that there was not much "evil" involved in switching to the federal standards -- especially since, if they gave both sets of standards high marks, it generally meant that there was a fair amount of alignment already.

I agree with Dan, though. It would be great if now our District could get on with finding educational (rather than political) solutions -- like the Everett School District did -- that are efficient and effective. Let's evaluate where kids are, identify where they should be (whether because they are behind, or because they are gifted and should be supported in getting further ahead) and get on with helping our children learn!

ARB said...

this study deserves discussion re: teacher effectiveness/evaluation and test scores

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/28/business/economy/28leonhardt.html?hp

(sorry link not live, article from NY Times, "The Case for $320,000 Kindergarten Teacher")

artemis said...

Good. We tried to sell our soul and they didn't want to buy it. I'm glad. That money would have been too expensive.

dan dempsey said...

16 of the 19 finalists were finalists in the first round. There are only three new finalists.

Can we stop trying to sell our souls yet?

Looks like the WA state Ed lemmings are just dieing to jump off the cliff.

Leave it to Dorn et al. to find a way.

Splash, Splash, Splash.

dan dempsey said...

Note to WA ED leaders:

When uncertain or in doubt run in circles scream and shout...

It should be an interesting next few days.

dan dempsey said...

Bruce said:

Actually, 14 of the 2nd round finalists were finalists in the first round (there were 16 finalists in the first round but the two winners weren't eligible for the second).

The five additional finalists are Arizona, California, Hawaii, Maryland,and New Jersey. Maryland did not compete in the first round.

The others fell below the 400-point cut-off (Arizona scored at 240).

??????

Sahila said...

another reason to be happy that Washington isnt a finalist for RTTT bribes...

Charter schools are next on the legislative agenda in this state, and here's what happens when the public education system is decimated by parasitic charter schools:

http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/news/splc-complaint-children-with-disabilities-face-discrimination-in-new-orleans-schoo

Melissa Westbrook said...

Good stuff over at the I Thought a Think blog about RTTT and the supposed loss of money to WA state because our lack of charters.

dan dempsey said...

PRICELESS.....

See this.

Some race ....We may be lost but we are making great time.