Nothing directly impacting homeschoolers yet, but.. But what really?
There are powerful forces at play with a vested interest in the institution of education. Couple calls for legislative reform with the common standards initiative, mix it up with the mad dash for the money, and homeschoolers can not afford to ignore these reforms, panic about them, nor play follow the leader figuring their interests will be taken care of.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today released the final application for more than $4 billion from the Race to the Top Fund, which will reward states that have raised student performance in the past and have the capacity to accelerate achievement gains with innovative reforms.
The application requires states to document their past success and outline their plans to extend their reforms by using college- and career-ready standards and assessments, building a workforce of highly effective educators, creating educational data systems to support student achievement, and turning around their lowest-performing schools.
The $4.35 billion for the Race to the Top Fund is an unprecedented federal investment in reform. Duncan will reserve up to $350 million to help states create assessments aligned to common sets of standards. The remaining $4 billion will be awarded in a national competition.
To qualify, states must have no legal barriers to linking student growth and achievement data to teachers and principals for the purposes of evaluation. They also must have the department’s approval for their plans for both phases of the Recovery Act’s State Fiscal Stabilization Fund prior to being awarded a grant.
The final application released today includes significant changes to the proposal released by the U.S. Department of Education in July. After reviewing responses to the draft proposals from 1,161 people, who submitted thousands of unique comments, ranging from one paragraph to 67 pages, the U.S. Department of Education restructured the application and changed it to reflect the ideas of the public.
“The public’s input on this application was invaluable to us,” Duncan said. “The comments helped us clarify that we want states to think through how they will create a comprehensive agenda to drive reform forward.”
States are after the money – an overview from Christian Scinece Monitor:
And articles, editorials and opinions from the states:
Editorial: Don’t let propaganda and fear prevent Michigan from winning $600 million for state education
Bogus fears shouldn’t prevent adoption of reforms to gain $600 million for schools
Minnesota poised to get major federal education grant
Experts say the state’s history of innovation in education give it a competitive edge in the race for a slice of the $4.35 billion stimulus pie.
North Carolina Launches New Race To The Top Website
Source: Governor of North Carolina Posted on: 9th November 2009
RacetotheTop.nc.gov will seek input on educational innovation and reform.
State to pursue school reform grant
By Diane Knich – The (Charleston) Post and Courier
A sinking feeling about the ‘race to the top’
By Russ Dondero
The Forest Grove News-Times (Oregon)
Wisconsin could be a contender: State lawmakers position the state to land a piece of Obama’s $4.3 billion education package
Most encouraging line (from the Governor of MI’s site): “The Obama Administration is requiring each grant submittal be signed by the state’s governor, state superintendent and education board chair.”