Let's think about all the great stuff that's coming so that we "put the kids first":
- Merit pay. Hasn't worked yet, but full speed ahead!
- Charter schools. Weak to no gains so far, but full speed ahead!
- Teacher evaluations and dismissals based on standardized tests. Error rates of 25%-35%, but full speed ahead!
- Institutionalizing the testing culture of schools. Big problems looming with cheating as the stakes in these tests get higher - really big problems - but full speed ahead!
- Rewarding states for their commitment to educational reform. So far, some of the worst states have been rewarded, but full speed ahead!
We may be lost, but we're making great time!
UPDATE: In the comments, Dora Taylor from Seattle points to a response from her and other parents who are happy not to be a part of RTTT:
Amen.But there are others among us who are glad that our state is not going to be strong-armed into adopting discredited, damaging “solutions” for our schools like privatization via charters and the toxic, innovation-crushing high-stakes testing and punitive “merit pay” which unfairly and narrowly tie teacher evaluations and bonuses to student test scores.What’s more, the amount of money that the “Race to the Top” kitty represents when divvied up by “winning” states and then by each public ed student is a mere pittance. Less than $100 per student in some cases, and that is a one-time-only payment.So clearly “Race to the Top” is not really about the money. The money will not make much difference in each public school child’s life.No, “Race to the Top” is about forcing states and school districts to change their laws and policies in order to push through an agenda that otherwise would likely not get voter or public approval. And why should it? Charters and merit pay, the two key components of “Race to the Top,” have proven to be seriously flawed concepts.
Thanks also to The Frustrated Teacher for stopping by. Check out his blog - it's got some good stuff.
(Really, he's not the only frustrated teacher - shouldn't it be "A Frustrated Teacher"? But then his logo would say "AFT," and you'd think he was Randi Weingarten...)