Your Education Road Map

Politics K-12®

ESSA. Congress. State chiefs. School spending. Elections. Education Week reporters keep watch on education policy and politics in the nation’s capital and in the states. Read more from this blog.


Updated: Race to Top: The Follow-Up Edition

By Alyson Klein — August 25, 2010 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Posted by guest blogger Sean Cavanagh

Reaction rolls in from across the country on yesterday’s announcement that nine states, plus the District of Columbia, won Race to the Top Fund awards. Much of the discussion focuses on why some states that weren’t on many prognosticators’ radar—such as Hawaii—made the final cut, while other states thought to be favorites, like Colorado and Louisiana, were left out.

Over at the Fordham Institute, Mike Petrilli is particularly tough on the administration’s choices, calling it a “disastrous outcome.” He rips the choices of Hawaii and Maryland and the denial of grants to Colorado and Louisiana. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan could have waded in and selected those two losing states, even if they weren’t chosen during the review process, he says. Of course, as Petrilli acknowledges, that sort of maneuver likely would have brought serious political blowback.

Neal McCluskey, of the Cato Institute, also didn’t like the picks, saying too many of the winning states have taken the wrong steps in education in recent years. He observes that Hawaii won, despite drawing widespread criticism for its school furloughs (Duncan was one of the critics.) Maryland’s charter school laws are too restrictive to justify its selection, McCluskey says, and he’s no fan of Massachusetts signing on to the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

As for the states, New Jersey officials are coping with questions about whether the state may have doomed its chances to take up to $400 million by botching an application question, the Star-Ledger reports.

In Pennsylvania, Gov. Ed Rendell was disappointed and speculates that his state could have improved its chances by having a better alternative certification option for teachers and stronger backing from teachers’ unions. In one near-miss states, Arizona, a leading Republican lawmaker argues that it wasn’t a total loss: legislators crafted some important changes in teacher policy as they moved to strengthen their proposal, he tells the Arizona Republic.

And for an altogether different, and creative take on the results, check out the Hechinger Report’s analysis of the “top buzzwords” in the winning applications. The winning words included included “rigor,” “standards,” “assessment,” “accountability,” “online,” and “e-learning,” among others.

UPDATE: More drama from New Jersey on the state’s apparent application goof. Republican Gov. Chris Christie blasts the Obama administration, which he says could easily have asked the state to fix its proposal: ""Does anybody in Washington, D.C., have a lick of common sense?” he asks. But the state’s assembly speaker, a Democrat, blames Christie and says she’ll arrange hearings on what went awry.

Commenting has been disabled on effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


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
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
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.
Student Well-Being Webinar
Attendance Awareness Month: The Research Behind Effective Interventions
More than a year has passed since American schools were abruptly closed to halt the spread of COVID-19. Many children have been out of regular school for most, or even all, of that time. Some
Content provided by AllHere
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.
School & District Management Webinar
Ensuring Continuity of Learning: How to Prepare for the Next Disruption
Across the country, K-12 schools and districts are, again, considering how to ensure effective continuity of learning in the face of emerging COVID variants, politicized debates, and more. Learn from Alexandria City Public Schools superintendent
Content provided by Class

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 Schools Get the Brunt of Latest COVID Wave in South Carolina
In the past few weeks, South Carolina has set records for COVID-19 hospitalizations and new cases have approached peak levels of last winter.
4 min read
Two Camden Elementary School students in masks listen as South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster talks about steps the school is taking to fight COVID-19, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, in Camden, S.C. McMaster has adamantly and repeatedly come out against requiring masks in schools even as the average number of daily COVID-19 cases in the state has risen since early June. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)
Education More States Are Requiring Schools to Teach Native American History and Culture
Advocates say their efforts have gained some momentum with the nation’s reckoning over racial injustice since the killing of George Floyd.
3 min read
A dancer participates in an intertribal dance at Schemitzun on the Mashantucket Pequot Reservation in Mashantucket, Conn., Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021. Connecticut and a handful of other states have recently decided to mandate students be taught about Native American culture and history. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Education Judge's Temporary Order Allows Iowa Schools to Mandate Masks
A federal judge ordered the state to immediately halt enforcement of a law that prevents school boards from ordering masks to be worn.
4 min read
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks to reporters following a news conference, Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, in West Des Moines, Iowa. Reynolds lashed out at President Joe Biden Thursday after he ordered his education secretary to explore possible legal action against states that have blocked school mask mandates and other public health measures meant to protect students against COVID-19. Reynolds, a Republican, has signed a bill into law that prohibits school officials from requiring masks, raising concerns as delta variant virus cases climb across the state and schools resume classes soon. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Education Hurricane Ida Deals New Blow to Louisiana Schools Struggling to Reopen
The opening of the school year offered teachers a chance to fully assess the pandemic's effects, only to have students forced out again.
8 min read
Six-year-old Mary-Louise Lacobon sits on a fallen tree beside the remnants of her family's home destroyed by Hurricane Ida, in Dulac, La., on Sept. 4, 2021. Louisiana students, who were back in class after a year and a half of COVID-19 disruptions kept many of them at home, are now missing school again after Hurricane Ida. A quarter-million public school students statewide have no school to report to, though top educators are promising a return is, at most, weeks away, not months.
Six-year-old Mary-Louise Lacobon sits on a fallen tree beside the remnants of her family's home destroyed by Hurricane Ida, in Dulac, La., on Sept. 4, 2021.
John Locher/AP