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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Race to the Top losing competitors

Can Florida win the Race to the Top through attrition?

Seems like as the next application deadline approaches, a growing number of states are backing out of the competition.

Indiana was among the first to throw in the towel, saying its teacher union wouldn't sit for negotiations on the required changes. Now Alaska and Oregon are out. And one of the two teacher unions in Georgia (which finished third in points in the first round) has signaled its opposition to that state's application.

Florida is seeking about $700 million in the second round, which carries a June 1 submission deadline. A working group focused its effort on getting more buy-in, particularly from teachers, without watering down initiatives such as tying teacher evaluations more closely to student performance.

Now the big questions remain:

  • Will teacher unions accept the new memorandum of understanding that some of their leaders helped write? Already the Stop the Race to the Top groups have begun sprouting up on Facebook.
  • And, after the application goes in, will the effort to get stakeholder support impress or dismay federal reviewers, who work for the U.S. education secretary who has said, "watered-down proposals with lots of consensus won't win"?

Stay tuned.


[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 11:00am]


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