I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

More "Race To The Top" Follies

More about the Race To The Top fiasco:

The spin from Christie's camp about his embarrassing ineptitude in the RTTT application will undoubtedly slam the NJEA, but don't fall for it:
The lack of union support clearly hurt but so did the shortage of support from school districts as well. Less than 60 percent of districts said they would explicitly enact the proposed reforms.
As one reviewer wrote: “This lack of greater involvement will challenge NJ’s efforts to meet its goals.”
Even where the state was praised for its proposals for evaluating teachers and schools, that lack of buy-in appeared to hurt the state’s overall standing. “With over 40 percent of the [local districts] not participating, the potential for statewide impact may be limited,” a reviewer wrote.
Gosh, you mean if a governor goes around forcing districts to drain their surpluses, then tells them to expect cuts of around 15% in their state aid, then proceeds to cut up to 100% of that aid, then tells the voters to reject school budgets across the state - if all that happens, it's possible the districts may not want not buy into that governor's proposals?

You don't think maybe they don't trust Christie after all that, do you? [/snark]

One more thing: I wrote earlier this summer about who was presenting the application in Washington:

  • A politician

  • A political operative

  • A former principal turned consultant who embraces the "turnaround" philosophy and the notion of tracking students

  • A charter cheerleader

  • Someone eminently qualified to make education policy.

  • Considering they lost the money on a technical error, do you think it may have helped a bit to have someone on this panel who had the requisite background triple-check this application? Maybe we could have lost one or two of the ideologues and put someone with some actual experience or training on the panel in their place?

    Political hacks instead of competent administrators; gee, I know I've seen this sort of "leadership"before...

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