Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Can we redo the "Race to the Top" Draft?

The Federal Department of Education has released a little information about the Race to the Top Judges. For you sports fans, I'm sure Mel Kiper Jr. would have a field day trying to analyze this! I say we throw the names back in a hat and draft the players again.

The Race to the Top Program is the Obama administration's solution for overhauling the education system. While their purpose is to "ensure maximum integrity and transparency" in education across the country, I can't grasp how protecting the names of the judges is being transparent. Clear as mud? Check out these stats

  • 15 are former principals, 30 are former K-12 teachers

  • 4 are attorneys

  • 35 have doctoral degrees

  • 12 have served on state or local boards of education

  • 15 are former state or district superintendents

  • 25 are from the Northeast, 13 from the West, 13 from the South, and seven from the Midwest

  • 32 are women, and 26 are men
As my friend Linda Hahner pointed out on Twitter, there are no current teachers listed in the group. Linda also points to the fact that we don't know anything about the diversity of the group. While I agree that true reform can only take place when school leaders can make local decisions, I am troubled by the fact that no current teachers are included in the list.

Finally, for those of us in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Ohio and Wisconsin, see you in the next round of applications because the Midwest doesn't have a chance.

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