Monday, November 16, 2009

The Scale of Race to the Top (in the Smallest State)

ED via Eduflack:

More importantly, though, we now know how much money each state can potentially receive. Officials over at ED have divvied up our great 50 states (and DC and Puerto Rico) into five categories. The $4 billion in Race money will be divided based on the following designations:

... unimportant large states ...

Category 5 — $20-$75 million:

* Alaska

* Delaware

* District of Columbia...

* Rhode Island

Providence, September 6, 2000:

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -The Providence School District, Coventry School District and The Big Picture Company will receive grants totaling $20 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support the creation of smaller, personalized learning environments that help all students achieve. The three grants will be the first in a series of education grants announced by the Foundation this week.

So in Providence in particular, we already have a pretty good idea of how much, or how little, can be accomplished with RttT kind of money. We opened a nice clutch of new high schools, which have as of this year now been stripped of any unique features of their original design. I don't think there is anything left at the district level from that period. And it is not just gone, it is forgotten.

OTOH, Big Picture is chugging along. In some cases, there is a real ideological bias toward charters for various reasons, but Providence is a good illustration of why big foundations come to support charters on practical grounds as well -- you don't have to worry about KIPP being taken over by a series of itinerant superintendents who couldn't care less about the previous supe's pet projects you underwrote. Ten years from now, the only thing people may remember about RttT is the charter schools that are opened.

No comments: