Recently in Race to the Top Category

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August 26, 2010

Why I'm Feeling Sorry for Sec. Duncan

Since its inception, I've regarded Race to the Top (RTT) as an important and valuable idea, but I also spent much of last fall and winter arguing that the administration's program design was not equal to the weight it was being asked to bear (what with its murky criteria for judge selection, ambiguo...

August 25, 2010

Ugly Politics Ahead: Result of RTT's Focus on Words, Not Deeds

While I've my doubts about urging states to launch new initiatives when job one ought to be financial retrenching, I'm happy to see heavy lifts and real accomplishments recognized in places like Rhode Island, D.C., Massachusetts, and Florida. That said, in assessing a process that inexplicably le...

August 24, 2010

Grading Race to the Top on a Proper Curve

Nope, I'm not talking about grading the Race to the Top (RTT) winners. Frankly, I don't have much confidence in the elaborate scoring system that the Department of Education jury-rigged--especially not after Ohio, Hawaii, and New York finished in the money while Louisiana and Colorado were ludicrou...

May 03, 2010

Too Fast and Too Furious When It Comes to Teacher Evaluation

Much as I'd feared, preparations for round two of Race to the Top (RTT) seem to be impelling states to overshoot the mark when it comes to teacher evaluation and pay. Generally laudable proposals like Florida's Senate Bill 6 and Colorado's Senate Bill 10-191 suffer from the "fix the world in one pa...

March 31, 2010

In This Race, A Lot of Second Place

It's good that the Department of Education held the line in naming just two round one Race to the Top (RTT) winners. After the dismal decision to name 16 finalists, this was an important corrective (even if I've doubts about the signal sent by the two winners that emerged). Perhaps going from 16 t...

March 30, 2010

Dennis Van Roekel's Happy Dance

Who would've thought it? If you'd told me a week ago that Secretary Duncan would've named just two Race to the Top (RTT) round one winners, I would have thought it a triumph and a really important marker. Now, less than 24 hours later, I can't help but view the announcement as an enormous disappoin...

March 29, 2010

The Race to Kumbaya

Perhaps they should have called it the "Race to Consensus" or the "Race to Stakeholder Buy-In." Upon hearing there were only two round one Race to the Top (RTT) winners, I thought Duncan deserved some credit for recovering his footing after the fiasco of naming 16 round one finalists. Then, when I...

March 29, 2010

Spin, Mr. Secretary, Spin!

Like the Energizer Bunny, our earnest Secretary of Education just keeps going. The Race to the Top (RTT) winners are slated to be announced this afternoon, and a rumor from a reliable source has it that there will be just three winners. That would be good news. Given his unfortunate penchant for ...

March 26, 2010

On the Road with RTT...A Few More Thoughts

Yesterday, I offered three thoughts that had struck me regarding Race to the Top (RTT) as I flit around the country talking about my new book, Education Unbound. For what it's worth, here are a few more thoughts. I'm increasingly convinced that the energy devoted to RTT has focused state refor...

March 25, 2010

On the Road with RTT

Andy Smarick's dazzling new "AEI Education Stimulus Watch," bringing readers up to speed on all things edu-stimulus, is out today. It provides a vivid look at the Race to the Top (RTT) landscape; in particular, combining Andy's principled enthusiasm for RTT with his careful attention to how the pro...

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The opinions expressed in Rick Hess Straight Up are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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