The race is on: We find out tomorrow if Georgia is finalist again for Race to the Top grants

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will deliver a major speech on education reform and announce the Race to the Top finalists Tuesday, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Ok Larry, I will bet you lunch on this one. Georgia will be a finalist again. (I am not sure whether we will be a winner come September, as I think our uncertain political climate — we could elect a school superintendent dead set against Race to the Top, if John Barge wins — might hurt us in the final award round.)

We narrowly missed getting grant in round one. We’ll see if our third place finish, after winners Tennessee and Delaware, works for us tomorrow.

40 comments Add your comment

d

July 26th, 2010
2:27 pm

I truly hope not….. but I won’t be surprised if that horrible application moves on.

catlady

July 26th, 2010
2:36 pm

I will truly smile all day (I promise!)if GA is NOT on the finalist list. We really cannot afford to be a part of RTTT, beside all the other qualms I have, including modeling for our children what a prostitute will do for money!

Really??

July 26th, 2010
2:57 pm

Lol Catlady, good point!

Have any other APS employees noticed that somewhere in the past few weeks the calendar on the system’s website has changed? Now we go back to work on the 2nd instead of the 3rd? So, if I hadn’t chanced by that info I would have been a no-show for the first day of pre-planning. What’s that about? I’m wondering if it has something to do with the investigation results.

Maureen, I thought the deal was the investigation results were coming out on August 2, but have heard instead they were coming this Friday. Does anyone know?

Teacher&mom

July 26th, 2010
2:58 pm

I agree with d and catlady. I hope we don’t win the money. We will find ourselves strangled to death with more red tape for a tiny trickle of money. I do think we will probably win just because Duncan sees GA as an easy state to manipulate. All he has to do is dangle a little money in front of our noses and our state leaders blindly follow.

GroupProCreate

July 26th, 2010
3:09 pm

FUBAR.

And that’s all I got to say about that.

Rosebud.

SGaDawgette

July 26th, 2010
3:13 pm

Given the fact that the idiots on Glover Street (Cobb Co) can’t figure out whether they have enough money budgeted to pay or RIF or re-hire their work force, I sincerely hope we are NOT on the list! Where’s the investigative reporting of the latest chapter in this fiasco?

Mikey D

July 26th, 2010
3:20 pm

Nick Saban, the head football coach at Alabama, recently referred to unsrupulous agents as “pimps”. Seems to me like there is also some pimping of our teachers and students by the governor and some of his hand-picked cronies as he tries to score some dollars from the feds. And he’s willing to cede state and local control completely to the federal government in order to “score”. Is this really what we call “leadership” in this state today??? Very sad times for Georgia.

Mac

July 26th, 2010
3:23 pm

Said it before and will say it again. RTtT will go down in history as the absolute worst thing to ever happen to education. mark my words.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Buffy Hamilton, Maureen Downey. Maureen Downey said: The race is on: We find out tomorrow if Georgia is finalist again for Race to the Top grants http://bit.ly/dCNQXC [...]

Maureen Downey

July 26th, 2010
3:29 pm

@Really, I just asked the education editor Angela Tuck and she said the date is still Aug. 2
Maureen

nutty shell

July 26th, 2010
3:40 pm

what we got like 20 something districts/counties out of 180+ that are willing to participate in RttT? We have a law suit against Obamacare, but GA is trying to follow Washingtons education plan. Look what NCLB has done to us. Now they are going to push Common Core (read national standards); the Texas “miracle”; APS “wonder”;

First things first ; Ga we need to elect someone against RttT; then lets start from there.

Deal's views

July 26th, 2010
4:04 pm

Handel sounds like she would go along with the RTtT grant because she supports merit pay, what are Deal’s views about taking the federal grant money for education? If he is against it, he needs to come out against it strongly. It would get him a lot of votes in this run-off.

Statty

July 26th, 2010
4:28 pm

Georgia received the highest individual rater’s score given to ANY RTTT application in the last round – it was that outlier that pulled their total score up to third. Highly unlikely to happen again.

Middle Grades Math Teacher

July 26th, 2010
5:27 pm

Maureen, off topic…but…. will there be a story coming up on how Cobb missed the boat with RIFing all those teachers, then discovering they really did have the money for them? I was gone for a good part of the summer and may have missed that.

Ragin Cajun

July 26th, 2010
8:00 pm

@Really ???
Yes I have noticed that the APS school calendar has changed within the past 7 days……they are claiming that they paid us for one extra day last year. Wow…….

love2teach

July 26th, 2010
8:05 pm

Let’s hope NOT!!

www.honeyfern.org

July 26th, 2010
8:18 pm

RTtT is horrendous. It is not a good thing for schools; it does not address root causes, just statistics and testing. Horrendous.

Nothing We Can Do

July 26th, 2010
8:24 pm

Will it really matter if your system did not sign up to participate?

ScienceTeacher671

July 26th, 2010
8:39 pm

I think if we lose we win.

Really??

July 26th, 2010
8:48 pm

Ragin Cajun – Isn’t that what they told us in May when we had to work an extra day at the end of the year? I think we got maybe a 2 week notice on that one? It’s typical APS BS and I for one am sick of it.

Anyway… RTTB – I will be keeping my fingers uncrossed for that one. If that passes, I might just move to another state. Georgia is so backwards it’s sad.

Ray

July 26th, 2010
9:08 pm

Every dollar of RTTT should go into the voucher program so those hardworking parents of kids at Westminster can use it for a most deserved Hawaiian vacation.

td

July 26th, 2010
9:19 pm

Maureen, Would not the legislature have to make some changed to the law before we could fully implement RTtT?

Maureen Downey

July 26th, 2010
11:01 pm

@Td, Not sure what changes the Legislature would need to make in the law, as our application calls for certain things, such merit pay, to be piloted by the participating school districts, not to be imposed statewide.

Ros Dalton

July 26th, 2010
11:13 pm

I’d bet a little more than lunch we’re not even top 5 this time.

Just consider the politics; the individuals being eyed for utility to Washington have been tapped and announced their moves. There’s nothing left of interest but another run down southern state education system. I’m indifferent to whether we ‘win’ or not, increased federal interference in state education systems is an inevitability at this point and early adopters may actually accrue some benefit within the system. That being said, we need to right our houses at the local/county level before any of this can begin to matter for the students and teachers on the ground.

Springdale Park Elementary Parent

July 27th, 2010
12:06 am

Educators: take it from a parent who’s fed up with the excuse-making and finger-pointing that crosses this blog: you don’t get an infinite number of chances to fail, no matter WHOSE fault it is.

We parents who send our children to lousy Georgia schools don’t want to hear your kvetching about how things would be better if only teachers had more autonomy and fewer disruptive students. This blog isn’t a kaffeeklatsch for frustrated educators. Parents come here too, and we are not happy with these disastrously poor schools, and we don’t want to hear any more excuses, we just want these schools to get BETTER.

@ Ros: Federal “interference?” Please. I’m the staunchest libertarian I’ve ever met, and I want the feds to storm our schools like a SWAT team.

Federal oversight vs. Beverly Hall and the gutless, sycophantic Atlanta School Board?

Not even a close call.

To all you GA educators moaning about “federal interference:” if you can’t do it on your own, and you clearly can’t, Q.E.-frickin’-D, then we need to do it another way.

Not all federal intervention/monetary incentive is interference. What percentage of you went around bitching about how FEMA failed to adequately “interfere” post-Katrina? (I put the over-under at 90%, and I’m taking the over).

Vote for him!

July 27th, 2010
7:24 am

John Barge is completely and totally against RTT. Vote for him in November!

williev2000

July 27th, 2010
7:34 am

If John Barge is totally and completely against RTTT and the Georgia BOE, Legislature, Chamber of Commerce, other Education Boards, etc. are for it – does he have the ability to stop it?

John is against everything. Over 86% of the schools he leads as Director of Curriculum did not make AYP (6 0f 7). What’s wrong with that picture???? I’d be against NCLB if I had that track record, too!

Economicwoes

July 27th, 2010
8:15 am

Good article in today’s paper about the cost(s) of the new GCPS charter school. Alvin spends without restraint on his pet projects, ever since Gateway. (Extra money and consultants were hired in, while Y2K contracts bid out had to be completed by inhouse staff). Its the same with the race to the top, just get him the money and then get rid of him.

schooled

July 27th, 2010
8:31 am

Williev2000, lots of schools across the state did not make AYP, but NCLB just like RTTT will not guarantee good test scores unless people are cheating.

Lynn43

July 27th, 2010
8:50 am

If Rttt participation is left to the individual counties, my county will NOT be a part of this. We have done just fine, thank you, without this federal interference. We came in under budget this year (and the past 5 years) and have added to our reserves. No one lost their job.

Teacher Reader

July 27th, 2010
9:16 am

Catlady you said it well.

It costs well more than what we are given by the government to implement these ideas. Most of these ideas do not make any sense and appear to just be another way for the government to interfere with an already bad system. Many of our school systems have gotten rid of or lowered the amount of art and music programs in our schools. We do not have money for RTTT, if we do not have money to fund a well rounded education for our children.

Tony

July 27th, 2010
10:01 am

With the passage of NCLB, schools were required to use RESEARCH-BASED methods and programs. RttT completely ignores research and takes the “we’re gonna cram this junk down your throat” approach. The grant program is horribly designed and catlady’s analogy is spot-on.

ScienceTeacher671

July 27th, 2010
10:05 am

Tony, I don’t think even NCLB applies the research correctly. Look at RTI.

ScienceTeacher671

July 27th, 2010
10:06 am

What time is the speech anyway?

catlady

July 27th, 2010
10:06 am

And remember, good Conservatives, that the money for RTTT comes from YOUR pocket. That’s what I can’t stand–those who bewail that they are “paying for health care for others” out of their pocket but don’t mind the feds coming in and mandating things for education by “awarding” us money out of our own pockets! At least be consistent!

Maureen Downey

July 27th, 2010
10:09 am

ScienceTeacher, His speech is at 1 today – Tuesday.
Maureen

catlady

July 27th, 2010
10:26 am

Tony: Here’s the asterisked part of NCLB: * and we decide what is the research we are basing the decisions on (no matter how tainted, poorly-designed, or lacking in veracity it may be. The main criteria for guiding our selection is as long as it makes our friends rich.)

@schooled

July 27th, 2010
10:48 am

A lot of school also DID make the AYP. So, having Barge’s record of overwhelming underachievement does seem to say something about him.

Ros Dalton

July 27th, 2010
12:46 pm

@Springdale My problem with the RttT concept is simply that the last thing, the absolute last thing, we need in this state is more administration and more people ‘in charge’ shuffling more paper, shifting more data in vast and under uilitized databases, and pushing more tests. If we win that’s exactly what we’ll get, and in exchange for the very, very small amount of money we’ll be surrendering influence and power to one of the few systems less efficient or responsive than our current one.

Race to the top is really typical ’splashy announcement, accept applause, fund nothing’ federal education policy. I’m not overly opposed to it simply because I think it’s irrelevant, but on principle I oppose the addition of more empty suits at the top when we so desperately need working hands at the bottom. I also think the standards and incentives suggested in the program are simply greater encouragement towards systemic cheating, the type to whose presence we know very well our current staff is rapidly becoming acclimated.

I think we need motivated boots on the ground. I don’t think RttT gives us that, so I wouldn’t give a fig to get it.

williev2000

July 27th, 2010
6:01 pm

@ schooled – I agree that a great number of schools did not make AYP, but 86% is a lot. For someone that is running for the state’s chief educational officer, this is ashame.