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Thursday, September 12, 2013

President Obama’s Race to the Top education initiative is a disaster.

That’s not what the headline in the Washington Post said, but it should have.

RttT bribed cash strapped, desperate states, and remember in 2009 nobody but the federal government who can just create money out of thin air had any, what basically amounted to pennies to let the wolves (testing companies and charter schools) in the door, to double down on standardized tests and to blame teachers for not being able to completely overcome the dehabilitating effects of poverty. The Washington Post reports almost nothing RttT did addressed poverty which we should all know is the number one measurable factor in education. Those students that live it don’t do as well as those that don’t.  Furthermore the whole thing has proven to be a financial boondoggle as well as it has dramatically driven up costs.

From the Washington Post’s Answer Sheet: Parents cite the increased amount of class time devoted to test taking as one indication of the new and undesired direction of Race to the Top. One parent with whom we spoke reported that her 8-year-old daughter, an advanced third grader, devotes roughly 25 days of her school year to test taking. Teachers tell the mother that 30 days is about average, and this excludes extensive additional time devoted to preparing for the tests. This increase is reflected in the growing cost of the tests. Since RTTT implementation began, Tennessee has tripled payments to the testing company Pearson; annual costs have risen from just over $7 million in 2009 to nearly $22 million in 2013 (Tennessee Central Procurement Office n.d.). By 2012, the state will have paid Pearson a total of $115 million, including a $55 million amendment signed in 2012 that indicates optional development of a K-2 standardized test, as well as test practice materials. (Tennessee Central Procurement Office n.d.).

Oy Vey, you know I like the president but geeze Louise what a disaster he has been on education and sadly there is nobody on the republican side to turn to either. I can’t be happy just because the president tells me I am pretty before he drops me off broke with my dress ripped and a black eye.

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