Proposed 'Race to Top' Rules Seen as Prescriptive
As the U.S. Department of Education prepares to fine-tune its rules for the Race to the Top Fund competition , officials face objections from many states, school districts, and teachers’ unions that the federal government is seeking to apply a one-size-fits-all approach to its education improvement efforts.
But Secretary of Education Arne Duncan isn’t likely to budge from his strong stance that this $4 billion in coveted discretionary aid is his lever to push states toward what he calls common-sense reforms. Chief among them: using data to track students and improve their achievement; spreading uniform, rigorous academic standards across states; improving teacher quality; and turning around the worst-performing schools.
“We’re just saying that there are some fundamental building blocks. How you get from A to B will be different. We expect a lot of variation among states,” Mr. Duncan said in an interview...
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