White House: More racing to the top

Race to the Top will be a model for an updated No Child Left Behind law, says the Education Department, which considers the competitive grants the most successful education reform since sliced bread.  National Journal, unsure exactly what it would mean to have left-behind children racing to the top, asks its education experts what they think about the use of competitive education grants.

Most of the education experts who’ve weighed in so far dislike Race to the Top for its priorities, the competitive process and federal bossiness.

Race to the Top is a terrible precedent for federal funding,” writes Diane Ravitch.

For one reason, it replaces the principle of equity (funding the students with the greatest needs) with the spurious notion of a “race,” with winners and losers. We want a generation of winners, not a few states that reap the rewards of federal funding because they hire slick grant writers.

. . . nothing in the Race to the Top is based on evidence, research, or practice.

Kevin Welner of the University of Colorado and Monty Neill of Fair Test also dis the Race.

Jeanne Allen of Center for Education Reform complains the Race “lost momentum when guidelines regarding teacher accountability and charter schools were diluted to the point of inconsequence.”

One of the rare Race fans, Sandy Kress thinks it’s way too early to tell if it’s going to improve student achievement.