Sunday, July 26, 2009

Charter schools and Race to the Top

Charter schools are a reform approach with strong support from President Obama and Secretary Duncan and no presence at all in Kentucky. Will that put us out of the running for Race to the Top funding?

In the draft released Friday, a state's approach to charters is one of nine criteria listed for current state conditions, and one of nineteen criteria total. When the applications are officially evaluated, I assume each element will be worth some points, and Kentucky will lose the ones that go for charter efforts.

However, Kentucky will be well-positioned for a number of other criteria. For example, Senate Bill 1 means we can move especially fast on implementing common standards and participating in common assessments. For another, we've seen smaller education cuts than many states, which will count in our favor as a way of showing the priority we give education.

Overall, I think our lack of charters does not put us out of the running, but it does make it especially important for us to make a strong showing on all the other criteria.

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