Peter Greene noticed in his scan of reports from Arne Duncan that Duncan singled out the super stars of his Race to the Top.

Most surprising of all was that North Carolina won a gold star for improving the teaching profession.

To call this startling is an understatement.

Don’t take my word for it: Read what Duke University Professor Helen Ladd and former New York Times education editor Edward Fiske wrote about the appalling attacks on teachers and on public education in recent years in North Carolina.

Teachers are bailing out of North Carolina because salaries are so low and have not increased since 2008.

The legislature has passed law after law stripping teachers of any and all rights and privileges.

Teachers can no longer get a raise for earning an advanced degree (just shows you what the legislature thinks of education).

The legislature killed off its successful North Carolina Teaching Fellows, which produced well-prepared teachers who made a career of teaching, yet found $5-6 million to bring in Teach for America, guaranteed not to stay in teaching.

North Carolina has one of the worst climates for teachers in the United States, and it has gotten progressively worse over the past three years since hard-right Republicans took control of the legislature and the governorship.

What exactly did Arne find admirable about teaching conditions in North Carolina?

Was he misinformed or does he approve of the war against teachers by the state’s extremists in the legislature and its governor?

The bottom line is that Race to the Top was a waste of $5 billion that might have been used for the arts, for reducing class sizes in needy schools, for opening health clinics, for doing what was actually needed by students and teachers and communities. It could have been a national competition to reward the districts that produced actionable plans for racial integration. Instead, it piled on more testing, demoralized teachers and principals, added tons of paperwork, and rewarded consultants, entrepreneurs, and snake-oil salesmen.