Campaign NoshJuly 28, 2009
Quote of the DayJuly 29, 2009
Great article in Washington State’s News Tribune regarding eligibility requirements for Race to the Top funds. Here are some core requirements and Washington’s status:
• A state must connect data on student performance to individual teachers. The logic for this is blindingly obvious: The data connection can not only help evaluate teachers, it can help evaluate the curriculum they use, the schools of education that trained them and the effectiveness of their principals.
The failure to make that connection cripples accountability all around. Washington doesn’t make it.
• A state must reward high-performing teachers. For the most part, Washington does not.
• A state must encourage educational innovation by not imposing a cap on the number of charter public schools – schools commonly organized and self-governed by teachers and parents. Washington imposes a cap: zero.
• A state must have a credible way of stepping in and fixing failing schools. Washington doesn’t
The piece concludes,
Gov. Chris Gregoire, who was in Washington, D.C., last week to talk to Duncan and Obama about Race to the Top, returned saying that Washington wouldn’t be seeing any of the money, at least not in this round. Any chance at it in the next round will depend on whether the Democrats who run the Legislature are willing to stand up to some of their most powerful constituent groups.
Republicans have been arguing for some of these reforms – such as merit pay and charter schools – for decades. Now the arguments are coming from the most liberal Democratic administration this country has seen since the 1960s. Somebody should get a clue.