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Report Analyzes First Round of Race to the Top
posted by: Colin | April 08, 2010, 03:45 PM   

The New Teacher Project (TNTP) has released a thorough, PowerPoint-style analysis of the first round of Race to the Top, complete with recommendations for the Department of Education. The report is detailed and few of our readers will have the time to read it all, but here are some interesting highlights:

According to TNTP, Delaware and Tennessee's victory in Round 1 refutes some of the more common myths about the program. Some had predicted the winning states would be political battlegrounds or Democratic bastions; however, the report concludes: "There is no evidence, in the outcomes or the scores and comments of individual reviewers, that political considerations influenced which states won."

Regarding union support: "While state and local teachers unions certainly can do more to support reform, their reactions to Race to the Top were not monolithic or in lock-step with some national union rhetoric."

It was widely assumed that "teacher buy-in" was critical to a successful application; however, "Winning states passed laws that locked in major reforms, and buy-in followed. States without full buy-in from local school districts and teachers union chapters also scored in the top five, such as Georgia, Florida and Illinois."

Overall the report highlights the positive aspects of Race to the Top: "The Department of Education should be commended for the overall transparency, rigor and integrity of the competition." And doesn't ignore the negative: "the scoring of the Round 1 finalist applications reveals significant concerns about the scoring process."

The conclusions quoted above reflect the analysis and opinion of The New Teacher Project. For more analysis on the Race to the Top program, see an earlier blog post:

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