Schools will receive an extra $142 billion over two years in the $825 billion stimulus bill, reports USA Today. Strings include:
• High-quality educational tests.
• Ways to recruit and retain top teachers in hard-to-staff schools.
• Longitudinal data systems that let schools track long-term progress.
On Swift & Change Able, Charles Barone, a former congressonal staffer, analyzes the potential to use the extra money to fund change — or more of the same.
For example, states promise that funds will be used “to improve assessments, more efficiently collect data, and equalize the distribution of qualified teachers,” he writes. But states already have made those “assurances.”
All they will have to do is copy and paste language from their old plans and re-submit them.
This means that with all the complaints we have heard about current assessment systems (the responsibility for which lies solely with the states) and the inequitable distribution of teachers (the responsibility for which lies with both schools and districts) and the promises for change, states and districts can take billions and billions in new federal education dollars and do more or less on these issues exactly what they are doing now.
He’s got a lot more on the way to hand out money without creating a giant slush fund. A congressional committee starts the write- up today.