Recently in Race to the Top Category

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March 23, 2010

Edu-Jargon Fun: Back to the RTT Apps

I eased up on Race to the Top (RTT) a bit last week, but the aftermath of Nancy Pelosi's weekend healthcare porkfest has resurfaced all of the concerns I have previously raised (such as here and here) about the failure to concretize criteria for evaluation and review or to adequately insulate the j...

March 10, 2010

RTT Finalist Instructions: Dog-and-Pony Show Edition

Race to the Top (RTT) finalists have been issued instructions for their big upcoming trip to Washington, the one where they'll put on their dog-and-pony shows for reviewers and Department of Education staff. The instructions raise fresh grounds for concern about how much care Department officials h...

March 09, 2010

The 81 Percent Effect

A couple weeks ago I pointed out that one could predict with 77% accuracy the amount that states asked for in Race to the Top (RTT) funding by looking at only two things, neither of them related to the state's RTT application. The first is state student enrollment, and the second is the size of a st...

March 05, 2010

What the RTT Finalists Heard

Curious what the Department of Education letter to the Race to the Top finalists actually said? Well, wonder no more. A couple of thoughtful sources have passed on copies of that Golden Ticket, and I'm pleased to share it in the spirit of our earnest Secretary of Education's desire for "unpreceden...

March 05, 2010

Racing to the Jargon: Finalist's Edition

Yesterday's announcement of the Race to the Top round one finalists prompted me to take another look at just what these exemplars promised. It's rarely been noted that RTT actually embodies two schools of reform. The first type of reform cracks open systems hampered by anachronistic statutes and ...

March 04, 2010

Go New York

Sixteen Race to the Top finalists, huh? Secretary Duncan has repeatedly told us to watch what he does, not what he says, once declaring, "It's going to be a very, very high bar. People won't believe it until we do it. Obviously, hold us accountable for sticking to that." Okay, I'm watching. On hi...

March 04, 2010

Edu-Reform Kim Kardashian Style

So, the announcement of the round one Race to the Top finalists is upon us. In the run-up, a pernicious parlor game in edu-policy circles has been "name the RTT finalists." It's played in D.C. and Denver, New Orleans and New York... really, anywhere you get more than two edu-wonks together. Thank...

March 03, 2010

Update: RTT Apps Not Searchable

An update to the point mentioned in my last post that the Race to the Top applications on the Department of Education's website are scanned PDFs that aren't searchable. A former government employee was surprised and indicated that the way the applications are currently posted does not appear to mak...

March 03, 2010

More RTT Fun Facts

One of the things about Race to the Top is the number of folks who have shared with me the wonders of state plans without having had much chance to read them. I can't say I blame them, as perusing the apps feels a lot like searching a haystack for the proverbial needle. The apps feature hundreds ...

March 02, 2010

A Few Fun Facts From the RTT Applications

With the announcement of the round one Race to the Top (RTT) finalists upon us, I can only say I'm glad I declined the invitation to apply to be an RTT reviewer. For those who have had a chance to peruse the applications, you know what I mean. For those of you who haven't, it's worth a look. The ...

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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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