Superintendent Ken Mitchell took a close look at what his district is getting to comply with Race to the Top mandates and what it will cost his district to comply.
It is not a pretty picture.
I feel really bad for those STUDENTS in districts that did not get any RttT money. What is most troubling and disconcerting about RttT is the compliance costs. Since most school districts are being run on some alleged “business model”, is it fair to ask who determined whether this was a worthwhile investment or better yet, to borrow from the privateers: what is my ROI.
This article in Saturday’s NYT’s was timely and prescient.
Holding States and Schools Accountable
Some of the best paragraphs from that article are as follows:
“We only give you 10 percent of your money,” said Mr. Alexander, pressing John B. King Jr., the education commissioner for New York State. “Why do I have to come from the mountains of Tennessee to tell New York that’s good for you?”
Dr. King argued that the federal government needed to set “a few clear, bright-line parameters” to protect students, especially vulnerable groups among the poor, minorities and the disabled. (I guess that Mr. King and New York can’t do it alone. They need “guidance” from the Feds. That should inspire confidence in Mr. King.)
“The federal government does not serve as a national school board,” Mr. Duncan said. “It never has, and it never should.” (If true, why are the states then genuflecting before Ed and Duncan? Why has Mr. Duncan decided to legislate by fiat, rather than the normal legislative process; regardless of how long and protracted that may be?)
I could only read the first few pages of that before I wanted to explode with rage.
I was mentally superimposing my own school system’s costs while I read, and I just wanted to reach through the screen and throttle the people making us spend our money on this [stuff] instead of on teaching our children.
I am at a loss. I want so much better for my children than this, but I don’t feel I should have feel like I’m backed into a corner and forced to homeschool them to SAVE them from…. this. :-’(
I imagine that most districts receiving RTTT funds are likely struggling already. If the program costs more to implement that the grant provides, what exactly will be the fiscal implications for these districts? Further school closures will make way for more charters. Larger class sizes will lower teacher effectiveness and thus test scores, more closures, more charters.
The real problem will be mobilizing the parents. They are the constituency! We have to find a way to make them as outraged as we are!
Post this report far and wide, send copies to your elected officials, your PTA, and local media outlets. Let’s see the power of social media.
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