Race to the Top handicappers give Florida top spot
Expectations are that the Obama administration will name finalists for the $4 billion Race to the Top education reform grant as early as this week. In advance of the announcement, observers who have spent hours poring over all the applications have begun to rank the states' chances.
Florida keeps popping up at the top of the lists.
EdWeek bloggers put Florida as the No. 1 seed for their rankings:
"Florida's got a great reputation for being on the forefront of education trends and will earn a ton of points for its existing track record. They're strong on data systems, teacher evaluation systems, and school-choice options. ..."
And they're not alone. Thomas W. Carroll of the Foundation for Education Reform and Accountability likes the Sunshine State's chances too:
"Florida, Louisiana, and Tennessee clearly deserve a Round One victory. A strong case can be made as well for Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, and perhaps Michigan. In total, awards to these seven states would allocate almost half of the $4 billion in Race to the Top dollars, leaving about $2 billion unspent—giving states like New York and California another chance to adopt reforms in time for the June 1 second-round deadline. These states would do well to learn from the Round One winners."
We know of the Gradebook readers' affinity for Race to the Top. But really, what do you think about the state's chances? And should the unions' opposition to the terms make a difference?