Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Obama Education Grant Criteria Excludes Parents as Stakeholders

The Obama administration has issued proposed rules and guidelines for the Race to the Top education grants. One factor considered in awarding the grants to each state is the extent to which support and commitment of key stakeholders is enlisted. While the administration has a long list of stakeholders (see below), parents are not on it. Charter schools, teachers unions and the foundations are deemed to be important stakeholders but not parents.

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(E)(3) Enlisting statewide support and commitment: The extent to
which the State has demonstrated commitment, support, and/or funding from the following key stakeholders:

(i) The State's teachers' union(s) and charter school authorizers;
(ii) Other State and local leaders (e.g., business, community,
civil rights, and education association leaders);
(iii) Grant-making foundations and other funding sources; and
(iv) LEAs, including public charter schools identified as LEAs
under State law, with special emphasis on the following: High-need LEAs (as defined in this notice); participation by LEAs, schools, students, and students in poverty; and the strength of the Memoranda of Understanding between LEAs and the State, which must at a minimum be signed by the LEA superintendent (or equivalent), the president of the local school board (if relevant), and the local teachers' union leader (if relevant).


NYC Educator said...

That's somewhat predictable, since Arne Duncan takes his marching orders from Mayor Bloomberg. Hizzoner has made it quite clear he doesn't want parents meddling with the education of their children, and this is just another step in that direction.

Anonymous said...

For what it's worth, the list isn't trying to spell out all the stakeholders, just saying that certain "key" stakeholders will be considered for grant allocation.

Also, "community leaders" would certainly include parent activists.

NYC Educator said...

I think parents are a key factor in the education of children, the no. 1 factor. To simply say the community leaders may be parents is hardly enough. And this administration showed sheer contempt for parents when it chose to ignore their no. 1 request in the parent survey--smaller class size.

Technically, this is still a democracy.

Patrick J. Sullivan said...

NYC Ed - Thanks, there does seem to be close alignment between Bloomberg and Duncan.

But beyond not wanting parents involved I see another reason why parents are ignored in the whole Race to the Top Framework. Having now read the whole document a few times, I see the main thrust is about holding teachers accountable for student performance using high stakes tests. With parents in the mix then things get messy, someone might actually suggest we are accountable. Better to just focus on the teachers.

Anonymous -- So parents may possibly be stakeholders but not "key" and not to be considered in these decisions about grant allocation. Somehow that doesn't make me feel any better.

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Anonymous said...

Patrick, everyone knows the reformers spell accountability T-E-A-C-H-E-R.

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