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Saturday, June 5, 2010

23 states change their policies because of Race to the Top

Amazing what a discretionary grant program can accomplish in terms of changing state educational policies, with no research backing, as the National Academy of Sciences warned, to be doled out from a $4 billion slush fund, without Congressional authorization and possibly illegal .

According Alexander Russo, a US Dept. of Education memo shows NY as one of 13 states changing laws on charters; and one of 16 states changing their laws on teacher evaluations, linking them to test scores or removing the firewall on doing so.

There are only seven states on both lists: Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Tennessee, and of, course New York.

Delaware and Tennessee won in the first round of RTTT for their efforts; let’s see if Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana and NY are properly rewarded for adopting laws that were opposed by most public school parents, teachers, and independent experts.

Whether or not we get these funds, our public schools will be feeling the after-effects of these policies for years to come.

I'd like to see a political analysis of why these particular states succumbed while others did not; and an accounting of how much the Billionaire’s Boys Club and the hedge fund operators spent, lobbying legislators to change these laws, through their foundations, the “non-profits” and think tanks they control through their funding, direct contributions, and their allied political action committees.

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