As EdWeek puts it, "How a state’s delegation performs in a 30-minute presentation and a 60-minute question-and-answer session with a panel of judges could make or break its chances in round one of the competition.”
Unmentioned in the Gotham Schools are Hughes’ close ties to the Gates Foundation, which financed many of the small schools in NYC through his organization as an intermediary.
The woman who head’s the RTTT program at the US Dept of Ed, Joanne Weiss, is former COO of New Schools Venture fund, which finances charter school expansion with large infusions of Gates money; accordingly, states can win “points” on their applications depending on how charter-friendly they are.
Hughes has also said that New Visions would be a likely applicant for a program, proposed by the Regents, to allow alternative organizations to bypass education schools to certify teachers. [Merryl] Tisch also cited Hughes as an expert on how schools can effectively use data to guide their work with students and on launching high schools, an area that will become key as the state attempts to replace its lowest-performing schools. “Bob has a track record on this, and he is respected in every corner on this subject,” Tisch said. “I trust him, I trust his judgment.”