Race to the Top early?
Florida lawmakers and education leaders have put a lot of effort into seeking millions of dollars from the feds to amp up the state's accountability efforts.
They lost out in Round 1, when only Delaware and Tennessee took home some money, even though Florida was seen by many pundits as a (the?) leading contender for the cash. Since then, Gov. Crist convened a committee to try to get more buy-in from teacher unions that strongly opposed the first application.
The state did not adopt legislation, though, that would have changed the way teachers are hired, evaluated, paid and contracted -- another key piece of the Race to the Top plan.
Why recap all this? Because the pundits are now rumoring that the awards might be announced tomorrow, several weeks ahead of schedule. Will Florida's plan changes make a difference? Will the many district-union side agreements that give them an out option hurt? We'll let you know when the final word comes.
UPDATE: US DOE Secretary Arne Duncan has called a press conference for a "Major Announcement on Race to the Top Fund" for 1 p.m.