Get instant email alerts from EdWeek's blogs. Learn more.

« Stop Picking on Gym Teachers! | Main | The Expanding Race to the Top Brand: Just Because a Hammer Worked Once Doesn't Mean Every Problem Is a Nail »

The Early Learning Challenge "Competition" that Isn't

Today is the extended deadline for districts in Hurricane Sandy-affected areas to submit their applications for the Race to the Top District competition. Race to the Top District is the big RTT competition this year, but let's not forget that there's another RTT "competition" going on at the same time--the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Competition, or what I like to think of as the "we feel bad that Illinois didn't win last time, and congressional Democrats really wanted us to allocate Race to the Top Funds to early childhood again this year competition." I'm putting "competition" in quotes because the RTT ELC Round 2 competition isn't really much of one. The Department of Education limited the eligible applicants to the five highest scoring non-winning applicants from last year's cycle. And the notice inviting applications specifies the maximum grant award that each eligible state may apply for--amounts which, conveniently, sum to the total amount of funding the Department chose to allocate for Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge this year. In other words, everyone seems to be operating under the assumption that if these 5 states go to the trouble of submitting the revised application this year, they're pretty much certain to get the money. No surprise that all five of them did so.

The really troubling thing here is that nothing in the Round 2 ELC application ask states to demonstrate that they've made progress towards addressing early childhood priorities since they submitted their 2011 applications. States do have to show or explain how they've maintained financial commitments to early childhood education, but for the most part the 2012 applications just ask states to explain how they would address the priorities in the 2011 application while adjusting or paring down the activities they proposed last year to fit within a 50% lower funding level. It's as if the federal government has no expectation that these states would or could have made any progress on early childhood education over the past year without federal grants to do so.

And that, to my mind, reflects the biggest failure of Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge--one that I fear is likely to be repeated in RTT-D--and that I'll have more to say about tomorrow.

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Login | Register
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Advertisement

Recent Comments

Archives

Categories

Technorati

Technorati search

» Blogs that link here

Tags

AFT
Alex Grodd
Ana Menezes
Andrew Kelly
appropriations
ARRA
Aspire Public Schools
authorizing
Better Lesson
Bill Ferguson
certification
charter schools
child care
children's literature
choice
civil rights
CLASS
Core Knowledge
curriculum
D.C.
democracy
early childhood
Early Learning Challenge Grant
economics
elections
English language learners
entrepreneurship
equity
Evan Stone
fathers
finance
fix poverty first
Hailly Korman
harlem children's zone
HEA
Head Start
head start
health care
Higher Education
home-based child care
homeschooling
housing
How we think and talk about pre-k evidence
i3
IDEA
income inequality
instruction
international
Jason Chaffetz
Jen Medbery
just for fun
Justin Cohen
Kaya Henderson
Kenya
kindergarten
KIPP
Kirabo Jackson
Kwame Brown
land use
LearnBoost
libertarians
LIFO
literacy
Los Angeles
Louise Stoney
Mark Zuckerberg
Maryland
Massachusetts
Memphis
Michelle Rhee
Michigan
Mickey Muldoon
Neerav Kingsland
New Jersey
New Orleans
NewtownReaction
Next Gen Leaders
Next Gen leaders
nonsense
NSVF Summit
NYT
organizing
parent engagement
parenting
parking
pell grants
politics
poverty
PreK-3rd
presidents
principals
productivity
QRIS
Race to the Top
Rafael Corrales
redshirting
regulation
religion
rick hess
Roxanna Elden
RTT
san francisco
school choice
social services
SOTU
special education
Stephanie Wilson
stimulus
story
Sydney Morris
tax credits
Teacher Prep
teachers
technology
Title I
unions
urban issues
Vincent Gray
vouchers
Waiting for Superman
Washington
West Virginia
zoning