“In the 21st century, the best anti-poverty program around is a first-class education,” said President Obama in his State of the Union speech.
Is that really true? Flypaper’s Mike Petrilli thinks preparing young people to be “military ready” might fight poverty better than educating everyone for college.
I agree with Obama — if it’s really education and not just additional years of schooling. Unfortunately, his proposed funding increases don’t guarantee more “first-class education.”
“The question is not whether to invest in education, but how, writes Russ Whitehurst, director of the Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution, in an e-mail. Making Race To The Top an annual billion-dollar competition gives extraordinary power to the Education secretary, Whitehurst writes.
I’m all for using carrots instead of sticks to spur reform, but we ought to get at least a hint of what we’re going to get from the billions invested in Race to the Top 1.0 before we make it permanent.
. . . The reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Act, now overdue, rather than the 2011 budget bill, is the place to decide whether an annual Race to the Top competition is worthwhile and what reform policies it should impose on states and school districts.