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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Diane Ravitch, What Race to the Top has done

From the Diane Ravitch blog

Let’s give credit where credit is due.
Because of Race to the Top, most states are now evaluating teachers based in significant part on student test scores. The American Educational Research Association and the National Academy of Education say that the methodology for doing this is inaccurate and unstable. The ratings bounce around from year to year. Such ratings reflect which students were in the class, not teacher quality.
Because of Race to the Top, more states are permitting privatization of public schools.
Because of No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top, all schools are labeled by their test scores.
Because of Race to the Top, there is more teaching to the test, more fear and anxiety associated with testing, more narrowing of the curriculum, more cheating.
Because of Race to the Top, many schools in poor and minority neighborhoods will be closed.
Because of Race to the Top, many principals and teachers will be fired.
Is this what President Obama meant when he referred to the “results” of his Race to the Top? It explains why Romney applauded it and specifically hailed Arne Duncan.
This reader has a different view of Race to the Top:
In addition to the intimidation and demoralization of teachers, Race to the Top is having its intended results: the destabilization, fragmentation and privatization of the public schools.
In their public utterances on education, Obama and Duncan are frauds, but the education reform complex is being managed by very intelligent and far seeking -venal, but far-seeking – people. They know exactly what they are doing, and more often than not are getting their way.

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