“We like the way the administration is using Race to the Top to send a message about its priorities,” said Joe Williams, executive director of Democrats for Education Reform. “We like that it’s gotten states to take a close look at their laws and practices.”
Dangling Money, Obama Pushes Education Shift
New York Times
By SAM DILLON
August 16, 2009
Holding out billions of dollars as a potential windfall, the Obama administration is persuading state after state to rewrite education laws to open the door to more charter schools and expand the use of student test scores for judging teachers.
That aggressive use of economic stimulus money by Education Secretary Arne Duncan is provoking heated debates over the uses of standardized testing and the proper federal role in education, issues that flared frequently during President George W. Bush’s enforcement of his signature education law, called No Child Left Behind.
A recent case is California, where legislative leaders are vowing to do anything necessary, including rewriting a law that prohibits the use of student scores in teacher evaluations, to ensure that the state is eligible for a chunk of the $4.3 billion the federal Education Department will soon award to a dozen or so states. The law had strong backing from the state teachers union...