Friday, July 02, 2010

You Know What Would Make Race to the Top Even More Cost-Effective?

Jonathan Chait:

House Appropriations Committee chairman David Obey proposes to fund money for saving teachers by cutting back funding for the Obama administration's wildly effective "Race to the Top" program, which provides incentives to states that reform their education policy.

Yes, but insofar as RttT has been "wildly effective" in "incenting" states to change their education policy, that has already happened, so wouldn't it be even funnier to then cut the amount of money you're giving out?


Chris Lehmann said...

I'm just beyond frustrated by all of this. I cannot believe where the education debate is in this country, and I don't know how we walk back from all this.

Thanks to Rep. Obey for making a stand.

Tom Hoffman said...

Yeah, I mean, this is not exactly where I'd choose to fight. Then again, I'm glad he's doing it. But overall, I'm happy to just sit here and eat popcorn on this one.

Jason said...

It does seem to undermine using competitive money for future reforms when the money can disappear after states made the calculated bet to spend valuable time and resources to develop transformation plans based on their perception of likelihood of winning. I'm very concerned about edujobs. State revenues almost always lag recoveries especially in the hardest hit by the economy. Bailing out teacher jobs is going to be a perpetual problem without drastic revenue changes. The teacher workforce jas expanded nearly 50% faster than enrollment since 1970 with only modest improvements in student outcomes. I'm also pretty sure I read that teachers have had significantly fewer job losses than any other industry thus far during this recession.

I'm not happy about any job loss, especially in education, but I have my doubts that a blanket check to save teacher jobs is the best way to spend money to improve education. Seems to me that quality curriculum, professional development, principal training, and teacher evaluation systems are all pretty important and far less likely to happen on local budget adjustments.

Unfortunately the kids get hurt most either way. A lot of great teachers will be fired without the edujobs ammendment because of last in, first out policies. There have got to be more sensible cuts out there that don't undermine efforts to tie money to reforms and take away much needed money for transformation from as many as 5 or so states.

Tom Hoffman said...

Here's the good news -- the strategies in Race to the Top won't work, so cutting them won't hurt kids. Also basing funding on competitive grantmaking is antithetical to equity and prone to corruption, so undermining that process in the longer run won't hurt either.

That said, I greatly prefered the original edujobs bill.

Leroy's Mom said...

I'm laughing to keep from crying...