Wednesday, April 28, 2010

RTTT: can we catch any of the states ahead of us?

Kentucky came in ninth in round one of Race to the Top.   The top two states received grants, leaving us seventh among those headed to round two.   Can we pull ahead of any of those states?

I think we can gain between 10 and 15 points if we don't pass a charter law.   Two-thirds of that will come from clearer, firmer intentions on teacher and leader evaluations that still claim support from those teachers and leaders.  One-third can come from tidying up confusions in other sections.

Of course, the states ahead of us could also add points in their next applications.

Two have tried for a big surge forward, and both seem to have failed:
  • Georgia (14.8 points ahead of us) has debated an evaluation bill, and it sounds like the bill just died.
  • Florida (12.6 points ahead) got evaluation changes through the legislature, only to see them vetoed by the Governor.
One more has a strategy, but I can't tell how well it's working:
  • Rhode Island (0.2 points ahead) had just 5 percent of districts supporting its first application, so it is working to raise that percentage.
For the remaining three, I found no discussion of efforts to push scores higher:
  • Illinois (5.0 ahead)
  • South Carolina (4.4 ahead)
  • Pennsylvania (1.2 ahead and right in the middle of replacing their chief state school officer)
Looking at all of that, I think we actually can pass Rhode Island and Pennsylvania--putting us fifth.

We may also be able to pass  South Carolina, Illinois, or both, putting  us third or fourth.

In this competition, states coming in between eighth and tenth may be in the money: Secretary Duncan will hand out funds starting with the state in first and keep going until the dollars run out.

 Charter schools are worth 32 points.  If we pass legislation, and claim even half of those, I think we can pass the front runners, and I think we have an actual shot at first.

Next up: can  states that have scored behind us catch up?

1 comment:

  1. Mary Ann BlankenshipMay 1, 2010 at 10:27 AM

    I doubt that Rhode Island will be able to increase the number of local unions supporting their application. I understand that their chief state school officer is a devotee of Michelle Rhee in Washington, D.C., a model of non-collaboration. The fiasco this spring of firing all the teachers at one school just added to existing animosity.


Updates and data on Kentucky education!