OBAMA’S RACE TO THE TOP IS LOSS FOR LOCALS

Nov 29, 2012 by

by Donna Garner

11.29.12

Race to the Top (RTTT-D) is a work-around by the Obama administration to send federal money with strings attached directly to the school districts/education entities (such as regional education service centers) without the money going through the normal state education agencies that have the statutory authority to monitor such funds. However, the  federal strings will still be there at the local level for the “winners.”  As the quotes from the RTTT-D application clearly indicate (posted further on down the page), the locals who win these RTTT-D grants will lose complete control over their schools – handing that control over to the Obama administration’s social justice agenda.

[The arrows mean “lead to.”]

National standards  →  national assessments  →  national curriculum → national teacher evaluations with teachers’ salaries tied to students’ test scores  →  teachers teaching to the test each and every day  →  national indoctrination of our public school children  →  national and inrusive database of students and teachers

The one protective measure in Texas from the Obama administration’s social justice agenda is that our public school students still have to take the STAAR/End-of-Course tests, and these are built upon the curriculum standards (TEKS) adopted since May 2008 by our elected State Board of Education members.

Because our Texas tests are built upon a completely different philosophy of education (Type #1) than are enmeshed in Obama’s Common Core Standards/Race to the Top (Type #2), Texas public schools that receive the RTTT direct-to-locals funds will face a real dilemma:

How are they going to make sure their students are prepared to take the STAAR/EOC’s which are a part of the Texas accountability system while at the same time meeting the requirements of the “federal strings” attached to the RTTT funds?

Type #1 emphasizes fact-based, foundational, academic learning that gives students the ability to think logically and to be independent learners.

Type #2 emphasizes group-think, feelings, opinions, the social justice agenda, subjectivity, projects, and process-over-the right answer.

These are two divergent philosophies that will drive the day-to-day classroom instruction in two completely different directions. Teachers and their students in the RTTT classrooms cannot help but be totally confused as they try to inculcate two completely different approaches to learning.

Parents who have children in the schools that are still on the RTTT (D) finalist list should IMMEDIATELY pressure their school boards to take themselves out of the running for this USDOE grant.

Parents whose school districts were cut from the finalist list need to fall on their knees and thank the good Lord above that their children have been spared from the Obama administration’s indoctrination.

LIST OF TEXAS FINALISTS – AWARDS TO BE ANNOUNCED BY DEC. 31, 2012

Aubrey Independent School District
Bowie Independent School District  
Calallen Independent School District  
Celina Independent School District  
Graham Independent School District  
Krum Independent School District  
Odem-Edroy Independent School District  
Pilot Point Independent School District  
Taft Independent School District  
Aubrey Independent School District  
Gainesville Independent School District

 

Dallas Independent School District

TX

 

Galveston ISD

TX

 

Harmony Science Academy (Harmony Public Schools)
Harmony School of Excellence  
Harmony School of Science-Houston  
Harmony Science Academy-Austin  
Harmony Science Academy-Brownsville  
Harmony Science Academy-El Paso  
Harmony Science Academy-Fort Worth  
Harmony Science Academy-Lubbock  
Harmony Science Academy-San Antonio  
Harmony Science Academy-Waco  
Harmony Science Academy (Harmony Public Schools)

 

Idea Public Schools

TX

 

Region 5 Education Service Center
Burkeville ISD  
Newton ISD  
West Hardin ISD  
Region 5 Education Service Center  

 

Uplift Education – Peak Preparatory
Uplift Education – Hampton Preparatory  
Uplift Education – North Hills Preparatory  
Uplift Education – Summit International Preparatory  
Uplift Education – Williams Preparatory  
Uplift Education – Peak Preparatory  

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To see a detailed list of the school districts/entities that originally applied for the RTTT direct-to-locals grant, please go to this link:  http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop-district/rttd-applicants.pdf

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Race to the Top District Competition (RTTT-D)

List of national finalists for Race to the Top (D) direct-to-locals grants:  /www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop-district/2012-finalists-by-state.doc

======================

Excerpts from Race to the Top District Competition Draft

http://www.ed.gov/sites/default/files/rttd-executive-summary.pdf

4.  Applicants must demonstrate a track record of commitment to the core education assurance areas (as defined in this document), including, for each LEA included in an application, an assurance signed by the LEA’s authorized legal representative that–

a.  The LEA has, at a minimum, designed and committed to implement no later than the 2014-15 school year–

i.  a teacher evaluation system (as defined in this document);

ii.  a principal evaluation system (as defined in this document);

iii.  a LEA superintendent evaluation (as defined in this document); and

iv.  a LEA school board evaluation (as defined in this document).

b.  The LEA has a robust data system that has, at a minimum,–

i.  An individual teacher identifier with a teacher-student match; and

ii.  The ability to match student level P-12 and higher education data.

c.  The LEA has policy and regulatory protections in place that ensure Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) compliant privacy and information protection while enabling access and use by stakeholders.

Eligibility Criteria:

College- and career-ready standards:

Content standards for kindergarten through 12th grade that build towards college- and career-ready graduation requirements (as defined in this document) by the time of high school graduation. A State’s college- and career-ready standards must be either (1) standards that are common to a significant number of States; or (2) standards that are approved by a State network of institutions of higher education, which must certify that students who meet the standards will not need remedial course work at the postsecondary level.

Core educational assurance areas:

• Adopting standards and assessments that prepare students to succeed in college and the workplace and to compete in the global economy;

• Building data systems that measure student growth and success, and inform teachers and principals about how they can improve instruction;

Donna Garner
Wgarner1@hot.rr.com

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