Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Some Good News Out Of The Election - Race To The Top Is Probably Not Long For This World

A Republican-controlled House and Senate is almost certain to try and dump the Obama education agenda, including Race to the Top and the school turnaround program:

Conservatives will almost certainly use the budget process to try to eliminate the Obama administration's favorite competitive-grant programs, such as Race to the Top, Investing in Innovation, and the School Improvement Grant program. GOP lawmakers in the House have tried for the past few years to scrap those programs, but Senate Democrats have always championed them in budget negotiations.

Conservatives will undoubtedly push school choice and vouchers.

But we may also see a NCLB Jr. bill come to the president's desk that gets rid of some of the more controlling features of NCLB Sr:

 Alexander, a former U.S. Secretary of Education under President George H.W. Bush, has already laid out his education priorities, which include overhauling the NCLB law and tackling higher education legislation.


The starting point for Alexander would be a bill he introduced last year to renew the NCLB law. The plan garnered support from every GOP member of the committee, but didn't get a single Democratic cosponsor.

The measure would significantly scale back the federal role in K-12 policy, allowing states to devise their own accountability plans, among other things. As under the current law, schools would be required to test students in reading and math in grades 3-8 and once in high school, and report the results, including for subgroups of students, such as English-language learners and those in special education.

Obama won't want to sign anything like this into law even if it comes to his desk, so what we may end up with over the next two years is gridlock on these issues.

But if Lamar Alexander is going to push for more local control of schools, put a leash on Arne Duncan and his USDOE goons, scale back the accountability measures set by the feds and let states do some of their own setting, well, I'm all for that.

And if Alexander and his fellow Republicans kill RttT and the turnaround program, well, I'm all for that too.

The way politics works these says, especially around education issues, there's no red vs. blue dichotomy that works for me any more.

I may not support choice and vouchers as the GOP will push in this next session.

But I surely can support some of the other items on Alexander's list.

And if he goes after Common Core, well, I'm all for that too.

We'll see if these GOPers put their money where their mouths are on these issues.

After all, there are some corporations that stand to lose millions if education policy changes.

But if they do follow through on some of that stuff like getting rid of RttT and the turnaround program, I can get on board with that.


  1. The only problem with elimination Race to the Top is that although states will not be compelled to change their teacher evaluations due to being bribed with federal dollars, that does NOT mean that they will continue to force horrible evaluations on their teachers. Case in point: Look at Cuomo. Let us assume that the feds will no longer be giving out funds via Race to the Top and thus NYS will no longer "have" to tie test scores to teacher evaluations. Do you think for one second that Cuomo would roll back evaluations to the way they used to be in the past? No friggin' way. Now, if it turns out that keeping the funding going for Race to the Top from state tax dollars becomes too much of a burden, then maybe we could see some positive change. However, I think that with Cuomo being so Hellbent on destroying the teaching profession that he will fund the destruction anyway.

    1. You raise very good points. I do think it helps if the fed money backing these changes dries up. Then Cuomo's got to pony it up himself - and that might undercut some of it. But you're right, it's hard to get the train back into the depot now that it's taken off.