Opinion
Education Letter to the Editor

‘Race to the Top': Only an NCLB Name Change?

January 19, 2010 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

Your article “Race to Top Viewed as Template for ESEA” (Jan. 6, 2010) describes the federal Race to the Top program as the potential basis for the next reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, currently known as the No Child Left Behind Act. This idea should give education professionals cause for concern.

While President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan are to be praised for their unprecedented investment in education, they should receive no praise for the simple name change they’ve performed, from No Child Left Behind to Race to the Top. The fundamental flaws of the old ESEA remain within the new program; the only difference is that Race to the Top gives states a chance to compete for additional education funding.

Historically, the ESEA was developed after the racial desegregation of local school districts. In its reauthorization, legislators must be careful not to let data and tests become the new buzzwords used to resegregate children. Data and tests should be used to inform, not to punish. No research supports the notion that the closing of schools or the punishing of principals, teachers, or even students for failing to meet testing benchmarks improves a school, or increases student achievement.

For the next reauthorization of the ESEA to be successful, it must ultimately do what is best for children—and what is best for children is not the creation of a federal game-show competition for adequate funding. Every state’s children are valuable, and every state should benefit from additional educational resources.

The American Federation of School Administrators cautions legislators to be wary of any quick fixes for education. The ESEA’s reauthorization must be rooted in best practices that thoroughly, effectively, and thoughtfully address the real needs of children.

Diann Woodard

President

American Federation of School Administrators

Washington, D.C.

A version of this article appeared in the January 20, 2010 edition of Education Week as ‘Race to the Top': Only an NCLB Name Change?

Events

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.
Sponsor
Data Webinar
Education Insights with Actionable Data to Create More Personalized Engagement
The world has changed during this time of pandemic learning, and there is a new challenge faced in education regarding how we effectively utilize the data now available to educators and leaders. In this session
Content provided by Microsoft
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.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Accelerate Learning with Project-Based Learning
Earlier this year, the George Lucas Educational Foundation released four new studies highlighting how project-based learning (PBL) helps accelerate student learning—across age groups, multiple disciplines, and different socio-economic statuses. With this year’s emphasis on unfinished
Content provided by SmartLab Learning
School & District Management Live Online Discussion Principal Overload: How to Manage Anxiety, Stress, and Tough Decisions
According to recent surveys, more than 40 percent of principals are considering leaving their jobs. With the pandemic, running a school building has become even more complicated, and principals' workloads continue to grow. If we

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 California Makes Ethnic Studies a High School Requirement
California is among the first in the nation to require students to take a course in ethnic studies to get a diploma starting in 2029-30.
4 min read
FILE - In this Jan. 22, 2020, file photo, Democratic Assembly members, from left, James Ramos, Chris Holden Jose Medina, and Rudy Salas, Jr., right, huddle during an Assembly session in Sacramento, Calif. Medina's bill to make ethnic studies a high school requirement was signed into law by California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday, Oct. 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)
Education California Requires Free Menstrual Products in Public Schools
The move comes as women’s rights advocates push nationwide for affordable access to pads, tampons, and other items.
1 min read
Tammy Compton restocks tampons at Compton's Market, in Sacramento, Calif., on June 22, 2016. California public schools and colleges must stock their restrooms with free menstrual products under a new law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, Friday, Oct. 8, 2021.
Tammy Compton restocks tampons at Compton's Market, in Sacramento, Calif., on June 22, 2016. California public schools and colleges must stock their restrooms with free menstrual products under a new law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, Friday, Oct. 8, 2021.
Rich Pedroncelli/AP
Education Florida to Dock School District Salaries for Requiring Masks
Florida is set to dock salaries and withhold funding from local school districts that defied Gov. Ron DeSantis' ban on mask mandates.
2 min read
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, at the Doral Academy Preparatory School in Doral, Fla.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, at the Doral Academy Preparatory School in Doral, Fla.
Wilfredo Lee/AP
Education More Than 120,000 U.S. Kids Had Caregivers Die During Pandemic
The toll has been far greater among Black and Hispanic Americans, a new study suggests.
3 min read
FILE - In this Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021 file photo, a funeral director arranges flowers on a casket before a service in Tampa, Fla. According to a study published Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021, by the medical journal Pediatrics, the number of U.S. children orphaned during the COVID-19 pandemic may be larger than previously estimated, and the toll has been far greater among Black and Hispanic Americans. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)