Monday is the day: Race to the Top grants announced at 1 p.m.

I received this update today from Erin Hames of the Governor’s Office:

I also wanted to let you know that we found out yesterday afternoon after you and I talked on the phone that the Race to the Top phase one winners will be announced on Monday, March 29 at 1:00.

Check back Monday on this as I will post the second we get the news.

36 comments Add your comment

Dunwoody Mom

March 26th, 2010
12:54 pm

Hm, let’s see. Sonny wants to sue Obama over HCR – who thinks Georgia is going to be one of the lucky winners?

catlady

March 26th, 2010
1:33 pm

A day…that shall live… in INFAMY!

The General

March 26th, 2010
2:01 pm

Maureen, I know the finalists number around 16, but how many states will be awarded as Phase I winners (or losers since merit pay would be a requirement)?

GA Teach

March 26th, 2010
2:03 pm

I hope that we are not one of the lucky winners. The metro area will only get 200 million of the 400+ that was given. The money will not even fill the budget gaps of most counties……………….Gwinnett is only expecting a little over 60 million dollars and that will only help out for 1 year. I promise that Merit Pay will drive some of the best teachers out of the county and state. They have done this in the wrong fashion. Our school only gave the survey to select teachers that would have filled the survey out the way the county wanted it filled out. Plus, the survey did not tell us that it was going to be used to implement merit based pay….Mr Sonny give me back my survey. I will never turn-in another mandated survey again.

GA Teach

March 26th, 2010
2:04 pm

Georgia will be able to implement the RTTT without the merit based plan.

The General

March 26th, 2010
2:06 pm

@ GA Teach

Where did you come up with that info? It is contrary to everything I’ve heard for months.

Lisa B.

March 26th, 2010
2:16 pm

Didn’t Sonny already mess up our chances to win by not having enough teacher input in the application process? I thought that got our application docked some points. I’ve also heard there were other minor problems with Georgia’s application. Maybe we won’t win. Keeping my fingers crossed…

Attentive Parent

March 26th, 2010
2:18 pm

GA Teach-

You do understand that the RTT grants are paid both to the states who win and the participating districts over 4 years.

In your example if Gwinnett’s share of the state grant were $60 million, it would only get $15 million per year for 4 years.

d2

March 26th, 2010
2:44 pm

Need to rename it Race to the Bottom. The schools will be the mushrooms because of the crap flowing to it from this so called education reform.

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Norma Rae

March 26th, 2010
2:46 pm

I hope GA does NOT get it.

Maureen Downey

March 26th, 2010
3:22 pm

General, They haven’t specified: Here is what US DOE says about the number:

Number of Winners & Award Sizes

The number of phase 1 winners will be determined by the strength of the applications. While the department does not have a predetermined amount of money to award in each phase of the competition, we expect no more than half of the money will be awarded in phase 1 to ensure a robust competition in phase 2.

“We are setting a high bar and we anticipate very few winners in phase 1. But this isn’t just about the money. It’s about collaboration among all stakeholders, building a shared agenda, and challenging ourselves to improve the way our students learn. I feel that every state that has applied is a winner—and the biggest winners of all are the students,” Duncan said.

Of the $4.35 billion in Race to the Top funds provided under the Recovery Act, the Department will distribute approximately $4 billion directly to states to drive education reform and $350M to consortia of states that compete in a separate competition to create new college and career-ready assessments. The assessment competition is still in the design phase.

Based on Race to the Top’s early positive effect on national education reform, President Obama proposed to continue the program next year by requesting $1.35 billion in the Administration’s FY 2011 budget.

The General

March 26th, 2010
3:28 pm

@ Maureen

Thank you for answering my query. I am correct in my understanding that the schools systems that are participating in this RTTT (about 23 I think) would be required to institute merit pay as part of the award, am I not?

irisheyes

March 26th, 2010
3:34 pm

Got my fingers crossed that GA loses! (I’m in one of the 23 systems)

Douglas

March 26th, 2010
4:47 pm

It will be Race to the Bottom of the Toilet, because with all the systems cutting teacher and support staff positions Race to the Top will be irrelevant. Education is done for in this state thanks to greedy county administrators, and board members. I live in a county that is reported to have the largest central office staff in the state. It’s board members are also the highest paid in the state. Yet, when money trouble strikes guess who will be the ones to suffer, the children/students, and the teachers and support staff. Our higher ups will continue along business as usual with their overpaid bloated positions, while our children sit in overcrowded classrooms, with no supplies, and our teachers are stressed out due to the classroom situation, and lack of support staff to assist them in doing their jobs.

Again, education is done for in this state and is obviously not a priority of anybody including the parents or we would be seeing marches and pickets at the capitol protesting these educational budget cuts.

If we can’t support and fight for the education of our children, which by the way is our future as a nation and state, then what would we be willing to fight for. Apparently, nothing as this country is turning into a bunch of sheep.

Race To Top Winners - Single Digits

March 26th, 2010
5:43 pm

The word from DC is that the phase 1 winners will be in the single digits so there will be a big pot of money for phase 2 (the states that chose not to participate in phase 1 or had minute problems in the phase 1 application).
There is a provision in Georgia’s application stating if a Merit Pay proposal was not passed in the General Assembly (SB 386), that the participating systems would instead be subject to an IE2 type (i.e. salary scale waivers) pay scale.

JACKTEACH

March 26th, 2010
6:29 pm

I teach in one of the 23 and our district is hellbent, bound, and determined that we will do something to pay differently due to the Race to the manure pile. Not one teacher, NOT ONE, thinks pay for performance is viable or class keys will improve the education of one child. Not one.

I hope Cathy Kox got a kickback check for the fancy class key books. Her and her husband need the money for the household budget.

catlady

March 26th, 2010
6:53 pm

Class Keys will benefit companies that supply schools with paper (due to the things that have to be copied, like every evaluation you do in every subject). Also will benefit those in the state DOE who have to examine all the data, redo the Class Keys, reevaluate the results, etc. etc ad nausem.

It will also give principals another quick check off list. It will be used to justify getting rid of teachers who buck the system.

It will NOT benefit kids who get thoughtful, well-planned instruction now. It will not benefit teachers who already base instructional decisions (hahahahaha) on data they gather. (Like we get to make instructional decisions of any real importance, but I digress).

octex

March 26th, 2010
8:09 pm

its sad we have to put on a song and dance to get funding. =

Cere

March 26th, 2010
9:32 pm

I’m sorry. I think the RTTT is stupid. What’s with this idea to “compete” for education funds????? I wish Georgia had the guts to follow Texas and say “no thanks”. This will be yet another colossal waste of time, energy and money. Just fully and fairly fund the schools people – quit obsessing over tests – give teachers a small group to teach and plenty of support and materials to get the job done. This used to be obvious – now, education has become a trillion dollar industry robbed at every turn by every new “idea” or “program” or “test manufacturer” or…competition!

I went to the meeting hosted by the feds. Brad Bryant pretty told the all DeKalb audience that DeKalb won’t be seeing a dime — our schools are not bad enough… So, once again, we’ll be the ones to pay in for years to come, with no benefits for our own children. (Think: “Equalization”)

Mandella

March 26th, 2010
10:47 pm

No song and dance is needed – just bend over for the federal government and say, “Thank you sir, may I have another?” This is what we have been doing for far too long. I thinks its time to et them all know, from the Gold Dome to the White House, Democrat and Republican, that WE are the government, and they are going to do as WE say….

Anon teacher

March 26th, 2010
11:23 pm

This is another teacher who is praying we do not get the grant. I was excited about it when my superintendent first discussed at the BOE meeting, but now that I am more informed, I am not in favor of it.

HStchr

March 27th, 2010
12:34 am

Judging from the fact that one of the grant options is to fire the entire staff of a school and only being allowed to rehire half, I’d say this is a time when you better be sure to kiss the right butts in your system…just in case. What I see happening is that since we have no real voice in the process, many schools/systems could justify only rehiring the lowest paid of the staff and save even more $$. Eventually, this model will be adopted by states- the money dangling now is only to get the greedy state BOE on board. They’d dance naked in the street if they thought they’d get money for it. The irony of “competitive grants” in a time of financial crisis isn’t hard to understand. State and local boards will sacrifice their own for a chunk of that money. What’s scary is good, experienced teachers will have no representation in the decision making process. I find it sad to say, but as a veteran teacher with and impeccable track record, I’m scared….

Norma Rae

March 27th, 2010
6:24 am

RTTT, change you can believe in. What a crock.

Tony

March 27th, 2010
12:19 pm

RTTT is nothing more than Race to Mediocrity. It’s a shame that our politicians have become so enamored with fallacious ideas such as merit pay and common core standards. These things will not improve education in Georgia. Neither will firing the entire staff of a school. The things plaguing Georgia’s schools are socially based not teacher/school based.

When will someone in charge realize this? Perhaps Perdue and Duncan both should go on Undercover Boss and go to one of the “bottom” schools and teach for a whole month. Maybe they would have an eye-opening experience.

What are the social ills that are hindering student achievement? Poverty, entitlement attitudes, lack of a value of learning, and poor discipline attitudes. The Savannah school that has been highlighted here in the last few days is a good example of how these social issues collide and bring a school down. Did the teachers do this? NO! They did not. Can the teachers fix this? NO! They can not. Who can fix it? Only the community served by the school can fix the problem and they won’t change their values as long as the government continues to blame the schools and teachers.

Common Cents

March 27th, 2010
1:10 pm

I truly hope that Georgia is not one of the winning states. We need to sure up the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement by ridding it of Sonny’s girlfriend. We need to rid the DOE of people who fail to know their own policies. Both offices need a complete overhaul before any monies should permeate our educational environment. They have made a mess of our state. We are now a national joke. All over we are known as a cheating state with dummies for educators and students. What a sad state of affairs they have created. Just a mess!!!!!!!

wth?

March 27th, 2010
3:36 pm

if sunny hate the HC law; why does he think the RTTT is so great? It was written by the same big government types in Washington, DC. Write sonny and all other GA policitans we want nothing coming from Washington. GA will balance its budget (it will be tough) and we dont need the deficit spending the feds are pushing on us.

Norma Rae

March 27th, 2010
5:10 pm

@Tony–great post, and right to the point. Not one politician will EVER admit the truth as you stated it.

You know it's true

March 27th, 2010
6:26 pm

Please, if you hate the idea of teaching in anything but a utopian society where all the parents are perfect and where society is wonderful force, then get the heck out of the profession. You knew what you were getting into, and if you didn’t, you are dumb. Kids need to be taught, no matter where they came from, and if you are not up to the task, just leave. It sickens me to see what weak-minded martyrs teachers are on this blog. Thank goodness that this seems to be mostly a blog for angry, washed-up teachers who have never accomplished much success even thought they are “so great”…

Ole Guy

March 27th, 2010
6:46 pm

Other than the dual purpose of filling a few pockets, and achieving a self-congratulatory feel-good aura for the loosers at the helm, could someone enunciate JUST EXACTLY WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THIS “AR-TRIPLE-TEE” PROGRAM IS. On a much larger scale, it seems like paying the kid to make a decent grade.

Am I to understand that this program involves a mandatory survey? All teachers should write NUTS across the form…when are you folks gonna stop allowing yourselves to be pushed around???

Ole Guy

March 27th, 2010
7:16 pm

True, don’t be such a hard ass. I tried teaching as a second career…realized, in short order, that they want “Mr. Rogers”-type babysitters. If you dare exhibit a no-nonesense demeanor, or in any way ruffle the feathers of the pc gods, you get cross-eyes from everyone.

I can understand those who, wanting to make a difference, go to great lengths, both time-wise and financially, to prep themselves, only to realize that it’s a whole different ballgame. I was fortunate in that I have multiple credentials and can just as well function outside the educational camp.

Stop being such an insensitive jerk with your idiotic “you should have known better” remarks. Your “wisdom” implies going back in time, which is, SURPRISE, not possible. These people can’t go back to their 20-something years and undo their academic choices. Judging from your stupid remarks, one would imagine you to be one of those parents who does absolutely nothing to help, allowing your little one to run amoke. Like the man said, True, “LEAD, FOLLOW, OR GET THE HELL OUTA THE WAY”! All your remarks accomplish is to gum up the works in a developing tragedy.

If you hadn’t forgotten your umbrella, you wouldn’t have gotten wet…well guess what, genius…there’s not thing one that can be done to get “unwet”. Try concentrating on solutions.

You know it's true

March 27th, 2010
8:12 pm

Ole- your folksy remarks might charm the ladies at the nursing home…but you just come across as a rambling fool here.

Norma Rae

March 27th, 2010
9:30 pm

@You know it’s true, probably what’s true is that you haven’t been in a classroom. Ever.

GA Teach

March 28th, 2010
7:34 am

@The general….They have told us for months that if we get accepted we will pilot the program. Wilbanks let us know this at a meeting a couple of weeks ago. We will implement the program with all new teachers. They will not have the option. My findings are not incorrect as they we reinforced in department meetings.

Ole Guy

March 28th, 2010
7:54 pm

True, there are some people who are able to express only the simplest thoughts in the simplest manner…perhaps because they are themselves…SIMPLE.

If ya got thoughts to share which may be of socially redeeming value, by all means, please do so. If, on the other hand, your intent is simply to become a wrench thrown into the gears of conversation…well, I suppose we all need a laugh now and then. In the old days, my elders ascribed to the notion that children are to be see and not heard. Well, no one can neither see nor hear you. Perhaps, in current-day fashion, people of childish mentality should just stay away from conversations too complex to offer any meaningful input. Have a good day, kid.

race to the top winners

March 29th, 2010
6:01 pm

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