When states won millions in Race to the Top funding, they
found themselves required to spend more than they received from the
federal government. One
careful study
reported that school districts in New York
had to spend almost $11 million, in exchange for $400,000 from the
federal government.

School districts are spending billions to offer and test the Common Core standards, which have until recently been untested. Now that they were tested in Kentucky and New York, we know that the Common Core tests cause a dramatic score decline.

This, Race to the Top offered $4.35 billion to 11 states and DC but will cost the nation tens of billions that might have been spent to build health clinics or support pre-K or the arts.

As it happens, few of RTTT’s costly mandates
have any evidence to support them. So districts are forced to spend
more at the same time they are getting budgets cut–or in the case
of New York–at the same time that the legislature enacted a tax
cap that prevents them from finding. New revenues unless they get a
popular vote of at least 60%. The result: larger classes, program
cuts, less money for everything schools need in order to satisfy
Washington’s evidence-free mandates.

What is a pig in a poke?

This is the Wikipedia definition: “The English colloquialisms such as
turn out to be a pig in a poke or buy a pig in a poke mean that
something is sold or bought without the buyer knowing its true
nature or value, especially when buying without inspecting the item
beforehand. The phrase can also be applied to accepting an idea or
plan without a full understanding of its basis. Similar expressions
exist in other European languages, most of them referring to the
purchase of a cat in a bag. The advice being given is ‘don’t buy a
pig until you have seen it’. This is enshrined in British
commercial law as ‘caveat emptor’ – Latin for ‘let the buyer
beware’. This remains the guiding principle of commerce in many
countries and, in essence, supports the view that if you buy
something you take responsibility to make sure it is what you
intended to buy. A poke is a sack or bag. It has a French origin as
‘poque’ and, like several other French words, its diminutive is
formed by adding ‘ette’ or ‘et’ – hence ‘pocket’ began life with
the meaning ‘small bag’. Poke is still in use in several
English-speaking countries, notably Scotland and the USA, and
describes just the sort of bag that would be useful for carrying a
piglet to market. A pig that’s in a poke might turn out to be no
pig at all. If a merchant tried to cheat by substituting a lower
value animal, the trick could be uncovered by letting the cat out
of the bag. Many other European languages have a version of this
phrase – most of them translating into English as a warning not to
‘buy a cat in a bag’. The advice has stood the test of time and
people have been repeating it in one form or the other for getting
on for five hundred years, maybe longer.”