Monday, March 29, 2010

Left Some Points on the Table There...

RI's Race to the Top Comments, section "Ensuring successful conditions for high-performing charter schools and other innovative schools:"

Though (RI doesn't) have a formal mechanism to grant individual schools within an LEA enhanced autonomy other than by creating a charter school, there is no prohibition against LEAs using their own authority to create innovative, autonomous public schools, and Providence has done this with Hope High School... The fact that there is only one example of this other model makes it appear as though districts don't know about it or it's harder than it looks.

It may literally mean that nobody working on the application actually knows about the variety of innovative, autonomous public schools in Providence (beyond Hope), and the Providence School District doesn't like talking about them, because they're phasing them out. Still, RI only got 31 out of 40 points here -- talking up the successes of site-based management in Providence might have scored a few more precious points.

I'm not going to go into great detail analyzing this whole document, particularly since I can't copy/paste from the scanned in PDF image, but overall, I'm somewhat relieved that the RttT reviewers seem less drunk on kool-aid than our Commissioner, and aren't convinced that importing New Teacher Project, TFA, and consultants from Texas will solve all our problems.

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