California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is calling a special session that would seek to scrap the state’s data “firewall” law in order to help make sure the state can get a slice of the $4.35 billion Race to the Top Fund grant money.
California, New York, and Wisconsin are widely viewed as out of the competition for the coveted economic-stimulus grants to education because they have laws that prohibit linking student and teacher test-score data. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has said such provisions are barriers to eligibility for the Race to the Top grants.
By early October, California’s Republican governor wants to see legislation that would: link student-achievement and teacher-performance data; change how the state uses data to measure student, teacher, and school performance; repeal California’s charter school cap; expand public school choice, step up school turnaround efforts, and give extra pay to “teachers who are consistently doing the toughest jobs.”
The California Teachers Association has been staunchly in favor of the firewall law, because it doesn’t want to see student test-score data used as a factor in teacher evaluations.
A version of this article appeared in the August 26, 2009 edition of Education Week