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Federal

Gov. Moonbeam Assails Proposed Race to the Top Rules

September 01, 2009 1 min read

from former guest blogger Lesli A. Maxwell, now resident blogger at District Dossier.

Remember a few weeks back when we told you that Jerry Brown, California’s attorney general, would likely have to offer his legal opinion on whether the state’s law restricts using student data to evaluate teachers -- criticized repeatedly by Education Secretary Arne Duncan -- would render the Golden State ineligible for Race to the Top Fund grants?

Well, Brown, a likely front-runner in the Democratic primary for governor next year, decided to wade into the whole matter by submitting some very interesting, highly critical comments on the proposed RttT rules. (Hat tip to Anthony Cody, an Oakland science teacher who blogs over at Teacher Magazine).

For some reason, though, Brown doesn’t directly address whether he thinks California should be considered eligible. He, instead lays out, sometimes dramatically, seven quibbles, many of them philosophical, and not so subtly suggests to Duncan that “a little humility would be in order” since no less than “the impressionable minds of the children of America” are at stake.

Brown also calls the philosophy behind Duncan’s RttT rules “command and control,” and tells the secretary that he senses in the draft rules a “technocratic bias and an uncritical faith in the power of social science.”

Wowzers! No telling if Brown’s comments will sway the brain trust in Duncan’s shop to rewrite any rules, but they sure make for some fun reading.

Funny how just a few weeks ago, Brown’s staff didn’t know anything about RttT and whether the AG would be asked to review the state’s firewall law when I called them to inquire. No doubt that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s convening of a special session over this whole issue got Brown’s attention.

photo credit: http://www.californiagovernors.ca.gov

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