Education Letter to the Editor

Protesting ‘Race to the Top’ Review Process

March 16, 2010 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

I find it very disturbing that the identities of the “expert” panelists chosen to review the first round of applications for federal Race to the Top grants are being kept secret by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan (“Reviewers Winnow Race to Top Hopefuls,” March 3, 2010).

In my view, this is a deliberate attempt to avoid the kind of investigation that led to the exposure of massive conflicts of interest in the Reading First review process. Consequently, I have sent the following complaint to the Department of Education’s office of inspector general:

“In light of the past fraud involved in the appointment and abuse of peer reviews under Reading First, I believe the secretary of education should be ordered to reveal who has been chosen to review proposals for the Race to the Top competition and what procedure was used to select those chosen as ‘expert’ reviewers.

“As one of the applicants to review, I believe I have a right under the Freedom of Information Act to know why I was not chosen and what procedures were used to vet applicants. I want to be assured that I was not blackballed because I was a prominent critic of [the No Child Left Behind Act].

“The possibility of fraud, conflicts of interest, and abuse of power is always present when such a wall is created around the procedures and the processes involved in distributing large sums of money.

“It is the responsibility of the OIG to investigate any possibility of wrongdoing, and the secrecy involved in this process suggests a deliberate attempt to hinder the OIG in its work.

“Please respond to this concern.”

I urge your paper to pursue the facts in this situation. Six billion dollars was wasted and looted under Reading First. The public and the profession need to know that billions more will not be diverted into the pockets of ideologues and profiteers.

Kenneth S. Goodman

Professor Emeritus

College of Education

University of Arizona

Tucson, Ariz.

A version of this article appeared in the March 17, 2010 edition of Education Week as Protesting ‘Race to the Top’ Review Process


Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
English-Language Learners Webinar English Learners and the Science of Reading: What Works in the Classroom
ELs & emergent bilinguals deserve the best reading instruction! The Reading League & NCEL join forces on best practices. Learn more in our webinar with both organizations.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Teaching Webinar
Challenging the Stigma: Emotions and STEM
STEM isn't just equations and logic. Join this webinar and discover how emotions fuel innovation, creativity, & problem-solving in STEM!
Content provided by Project Lead The Way

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: February 7, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: January 31, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: January 17, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education In Their Own Words The Stories That Stuck With Us, 2023 Edition
Our newsroom selected five stories as among the highlights of our work. Here's why.
4 min read
102523 IMSE Reading BS
Adria Malcolm for Education Week