I posted the previous report about a meeting at the White House with Pennsylvania leaders because I thought you should read it. I felt frustrated reading it. I met at the White House in June 2010 with Roberto Rodriguez, Rahm Emanual and Melody Barnes, who was then the head of the Domestic Policy Council. I said all the same things. All they wanted to talk about was how Race to the Top would fix everything, the $1 billion they planned to spend on merit pay, and the sure success of tying teacher evaluation to test scores. I told them how disheartened teachers were by their whole approach, that they had aligned themselves with the GOP agenda. I warned that they would lose the 2010 elections if they didn’t get a different agenda. I told them that what they were doing would not succeed and would have terrible consequences. They didn’t listen.

The issue with the Obama team is whether they do anything differently.

Now they are pushing Race to the Top down to the district level. They refuse to accept that Race to the Top is no different from what the GOP would do, except for vouchers. I am glad that Larry Feinberg made that point.

The fact that you met with the “office of outreach” shows that this was a meeting intended to give you the impression that they were listening.

What matters is not that they invited you to the White House. Not that they heard you out.

What matters is will they do anything differently?

What signal, if any, will the White House give to show that they understand that Race to the Top is an extension of NCLB? It is NCLB on steroids.

If a Republican President had proposed Race to the Top, exactly as it is, Democrats would have fought it, made the President modify it, insisted on Congressional hearings before letting it go forward, demanded evidence before it was implemented.

None of that happened.

When I met Arne Duncan in the fall of 2009, just the two of us, I asked him why he was going around the country to campaign for RTTT with Newt Gingrich. His answer: “Because the President told me to.”

My advice: Judge them and all politicians by what they do, not what they say.