Race to the Top - It's Not Just for States Anymore

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan just came out with a new idea for RTTT:  allowing districts to compete as stand-alones (as opposed to just entire states competing).   This is interesting because the most recent news on RTTT is that Hawaii was placed on a "high-risk" grant status and may have its award taken away.  This is also the case in New York. 

From Education Week:

"I think we'll use it for the districts," he said. "You can do different things. You can do early childhood as a piece of that, or STEM as a piece of that. ... I don't want to commit, but the bulk of the money will go through districts...what we'll be asking of districts is still very much up for consideration."

It's clear that Duncan sees the potential of investing a half-billion dollars in districts, especially in states that are, as he calls them, "less functional" and haven't won any other competitive grants.
"I love that we played at the state level. I love that we played in the early childhood space," said Duncan, who is expected to talk about the new Race to the Top in a speech before the nation's mayors in Washington today. "But I'm really really pleased now to have a chance to participate with districts, and there's a huge appetite there."

Besides hammering out the details of what a new Race to the Top competition for districts would look like, Duncan's most immediate task is overseeing an ambitious new plan to grant states waivers from many of the core components of the No Child Left Behind Act—his answer to Congress' inability, so far, to formally rewrite the law. Already, 11 states have applied in the first round, with a second wave of applications due Feb. 21. 

That's a weird phrasing "played."  But maybe it is a big chess game to him.

On this issue of waivers from NCLB, he had this to say:

"No question the waivers are a stronger plan," he said. "I hope that changes. I hope at some point next month, six months from now, or next year that we get a strong bipartisan bill; unfortunately that's not reality."

For the first time, Duncan telegraphed how tough he plans to be on states that win a waiver. It's the same kind of tough talk he engaged in before and during the original $4 billion Race to the Top competition for states.

"I'm not promising anyone we're going to bat 1,000. We may grant a waiver to a state that makes its commitments in good faith but doesn't keep them," he said. "And just to be very clear, and just as in Race to the Top, if we need to revoke the waiver six months from now, a year from now, two years from now, because folks can't deliver on what they said, we're more than prepared to do that."

He was almost as tough on states that don't apply for a waiver—such as California—and decide to stick it out with the current NCLB requirements. Though he said it wasn't his first choice, he said he was prepared to withhold Title I money to states, if needed.


seattle citizen said…
Arne Duncan says"
"I love that we played at the state level..."

He loves playing, alright. His game, where kids are mere data points to be moved around on the board...

How did he become head of DOE, again? Oh, yeah, he was the "principal" of Ariel Investment Company's Ariel Charter School. Glad he had so much experience "playing" with education before he was given our public schools to play with.
Anonymous said…
Duncan has his headlines now but 10 years from now history will not be kind to him.

Not that he will care. He will have been made rich with consulting and speaking engagements ala Michele Rhee. And so it goes.

This ultra-liberal voter is suddenly agreeing with the Far Right. Disbanding the Department of Education might be the most advantageous thing that could happen for our state.

I so violently dislike Duncan that I decided today to vote for Romney. Education is my issue, and Romney's people can't be worse than Duncan. Maybe someone should tell Obama he is losing votes here. I hope the movement grows and grows loudly.

Disgusted Too
Yeah, over at DFER they are trying to make it seem like you're a bad Democrat if you don't support Obama's education policies. Any mature voter knows you aren't going to get everything you want in a single candidate.

That it is education for us is painful but we can only try to pushback as hard as we can. And if we can only pushback at our own state and district level, so be it.
Disgusted said…
I doubt our district would sign onto this proposal. None the less, the assault continues.
Anonymous said…
Went to the DFER Washington site right now and read the 4 posts. So telling.

One from ex-teacher-now-anti-union-lobbyist Chris Eide. (The guy married to Bree Dusseault who came from New Orleans with only charter school principal experience then proceded to try to fire Martin Floe.) Eide has been frequently spotted at Stand for Children events. Busy boy. (He has the passion, but clearly not the knowledge, of a seasoned teacher.)

One is a reprint of a story from the Tacoma paper, announcing Macfarlane's new position. Nice self-promotion.

The other two are written by Lisa Macfarlane and amusingly her "Why Democrats Support Charter Schools" piece was simultaneouly posted on the LEV website. Eide is on LEV too in other places. LEV=DFER-Stand these days and it is a pity to see LEV going down the drain. I thought Stand was a bad apple in this state from the get-go.

I have added LEV to my list of un-support, just as today I added Obama for the Duncan fiasco.

Also, to the DFER blog. It does not allow comments after the postings. Not a surprise at all. DFER does not want a conversation. Just pro-charter marketing.

Disgusted Too
Yes, Lisa's diatribe about Democrats certainly says a lot. You don't call a Democrat a Republican and then expect people to listen. But she's not happy that many of the Dem districts are considering (or have voted) against charters. That the Washington State Dems aren't going for it. That Gregoire is against it.

I could say a lot about LEV and Stand and DFER but I would never insult them by calling them conservatives.
Anonymous said…
Melissa, you forgot Randy Dorn, who also does not support the Charter bill.

Dorn and Gregoire infamously are not best buddy democrats, as Gregoire floated a reorganization of state education authority that would have put him out of a job.

That they are joined on the anti-charter issue is telling.

Disgusted Too
Anonymous said…
I just skimmed her hit piece, with her glib use of the usual talking points, the glib use of garbage data, and a right wing chant..."charter hater ideologues ".

Ms. Mcfarlane MUST attack. The leaders of her branch of the Democratic Party have taken care of themselves, first and last, for the last 3 decades.

Anyone remember all the data about how bad the U.S. healthcare system is? Anyone remember how the Obama administration, larded with Clinton era refugees, shot down better policy so that the big shots of the American 'Health' Insurance Plans (AHIP) got their way? Anyone remember how Pharma wasn't held accountable for ripping off the public?

Did anyone notice what happened to the economy after Wall Street had its way with our mortgages and our retirements and our jobs, and did anyone notice how Tim Geithner, Larry Summers, Ben Bernanke ... haven't held anyone accountable?

There is a slight difference between the leaders of Deform, such as Rueven Carlyle, Rodney Tom, Mcfarlane, Arne, Michelle Rhee ... and their counterparts in the Wall Street arena or the health care arena - Arne & McFarlane are trying to establish the NEW AIG's & Chase Banks & Goldman Sacks & AHIPs & Pharmas!

McFarlane and company don't offer systemic solutions, they do offer the beginning of systemic plundering.

I do love that stat about 60%+ of the 2018 jobs requiring a college degree ... to do what? Ruin "health" care? Run Pentagon rackets? Run rigged Wall Street Ponzi Schemes?

Start more Kopp-Kipp Kryme Syndicates?

Anonymous said…
@AntagonistsFoesVillains: Nice call-out of the supposed "good democrats."

At their core, they are all about money, because money is power. All else is academic.

The bribe-taking, profit-protecting, don't-rock-the-boat wing of today's democratic party is indistinquishable from the Reaganites of the 80's, and have Jefferson, FDR and Johnson spinning in their graves. Clinton signed off on the repeal of Glass-Steagall, so we know where his heart is too. The whole left-right paradigm has become a joke. All one has to do is follow the money and allow a little time, and faux dems will be dropping to their knees before the match burns out.

Its disgusting, and I will fight them all the way, win or lose, because as one writer says, "Many democrats say they support poor people. They just can't stand the smell of them." If that doesn't describe Ed Reform in a bucket, I don't know what does. DEFR function as the bridge between privatization and public schools, built on paternalism and exploitation if the disenfranchised.

How many times must we see this movie? WSDWG
CT said…
Google (scholar) some of the research on Chicago Public Schools and see what a disaster Arne Duncan created there. None of his policies worked. Now he gets to make the mess on a national level.

Anonymous said…
I wasted about 30 minutes of my life on www.guidestar.org digging through a few 990's, (2010 or 2009, whichever was most recent) and, from schedule J, page 2, column "E" -
Teach For America
9 people > $200,000 a year.
4 people > $150,000, less than 200k.

Kipp in Brooklyn
1 people > $200,000 a year.
7 people > $150,000, less than 200k.

Kipp Foundation, San Fran
1 people > $300,000 a year.
2 people > $200,000 a year.
7 people > $150,000, less than 200k.

Kipp Houston
2 people > $200,000 a year.

Kipp D.C.
1 people > $150,000, less than 200k.

Statistical Abstract of the United States - table 692, Money Income, Households, 2009

appx. 23,749,000/117,538,000 households over $100,000 ...

and about 90,000,000 living on a lot less than these out touch pirateers.

Jack Whelan said…
I'm not going to defend Obama; he's been a disappointment on so many levels. Even more disturbing than Duncan has been Eric Holder in Justice. His presiding over the continued erosion of fundamental civil liberties is actually quite shocking, but few of us are shocked or outraged if we're even paying attention anymore.

But the idea of voting for Romney or McKenna here needs to be resisted. It's not whether either of them as individuals is decent or reasonable; it's the people in their party to whom each is accountable--and right now the GOP locally and nationally is controlled by factions that are in the throes of a cult-like collective insanity. The Democrat leadership, especially on the national level, is feckless and craven, but the Republicans are in a state of delusional frenzy. No matter how disgusted we might be with Democrats, we must not give the keys to the car back to the Republicans.

The task for us is to give the Democrats a backbone and to remind them that they serve real persons, not corporate persons, and it starts right here on the local level. Real Democrats are not for privatization and this ridiculous idea of competing against one another in some pointless, social Darwinian race to nowhere. Real Democrats are about working together for the common good. And real Democrats are united in pushing back hard against this charter legislation.

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