Rich Prize, Restrictive Guidelines
Criteria Would Set High Bar for ‘Race to the Top’ Eligibility
The U.S. Department of Education’s proposed guidelines for awarding $4 billion in Race to the Top Fund money send a strong message that any state hoping to land a competitive grant should expect to allow student test scores to be used in decisions about teacher compensation and evaluation.
The draft plans outlined by department officials last month call for states to be judged on 19 education reform criteria, including how friendly they are to charter schools and whether they cut state K-12 funding this year.
In addition, the department is setting two absolute preconditions: States must have been approved by the Education Department as eligible to receive fiscal-stabilization funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (most already have been), and states must not have any laws in place barring the use of student-achievement data for...
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