Education Funding

Must-See TV: Race to Top Presentations Debut Online

April 09, 2010 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

For those of us who’ve been breathlessly anticipating the videos of the Race to the Top finalists’ final presentations, the wait is over.

Click here to get to the Education Department’s page. You’ll find the videos tucked into those little boxes where a state’s application is.

I quickly perused a few videos and noticed, first thing, that you NEVER see the Race to the Top judges. The Education Department even went so far as to bleep out any audio references to the judges’ names, so it’s impossible to know which judge is asking which question. I don’t understand why the department did that since the names of all the reviewers are public now.

Let’s just say these videos don’t provide much in the way of visual entertainment, only static, wide shots of the five state presenters, mixed occasionally with Power Point slides.

Now that I’ve dispensed with my superficial critique, let’s talk about the substance of these things, starting with New York, one of two states that lost a few points after its presentation. I skipped the 30-minute presentation and turned to the hour-long Q and A with the judges.

I’ve been as interested in sizing up the judges’ performances as the state teams’ themselves, and, right out of the gate, this panel of judges had tough questions for the New York team, which included state Education Commissioner David Steiner.

One judge pressed the team members on how New York’s current charter school cap would inhibit the proliferation of new charters.

A second judge peppered them with questions about how they would implement new teacher evaluations and other controversial teacher-related initiatives on a wide scale without having more robust support from local teachers’ unions. And one peer reviewer—noting how difficult it is to judge a state’s credibility when it comes to actually executing a Race to the Top plan—challenged the panel to explain why it didn’t bring an employee from the New York City school district, since much of the state’s application is based on reforms initiated in the city that would be expanded statewide. (Note: Robert Hughes, the president of New Visions for New Schools, a reform organization which works directly with roughly 75 NYC public schools, was on the New York panel.)

Toward the end of the presentation, this simple, concrete question jumped out at me: “What’s going to be looking different in your high school classrooms?”

If you fast forward to about the 45 minute point of the Q and A video, you’ll find Commissioner Steiner’s full answer, but here’s an excerpt:

“Teachers are going to be freed to teach quality material that is sequential, and is sequenced from what came before,” he said. “They will know what students have learned before... The actual atmosphere in a classroom, the interaction between a student and a teacher will be different as a result of all the things that we put in place. And parents, districts, communities, will have a level of transparency around what’s going on in the schools that they’ve never had before.”

There are 15 more of these videos to plow through, so any of you who take the time and effort to do it, feel free to contribute a review in this space.

Related Tags:

A version of this news article first appeared in the State EdWatch blog.

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
Privacy & Security Webinar
K-12 Cybersecurity in the Real World: Lessons Learned & How to Protect Your School
Gain an expert understanding of how school districts can improve their cyber resilience and get ahead of cybersecurity challenges and threats.
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
Student Well-Being Webinar
Trauma-Informed Schools 101: Best Practices & Key Benefits
Learn how to develop a coordinated plan of action for addressing student trauma and
fostering supportive, healthy environments.
Content provided by Crisis Prevention Institute
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.

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 Funding Big Money for Schools, No Strings Attached: Will MacKenzie Scott Change Education Philanthropy?
Billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott gave millions of dollars to dozens of districts and charter schools.
8 min read
funding donation 495144092 01
erhui1979/DigitalVision Vectors
Education Funding What the Research Says Districts Are Spending More Per Student. Here's How to Make Sure All of Them Benefit
New studies suggest ways education leaders can make budgets bigger and more equitable.
4 min read
Educators delivering money.
iStock/Getty Images Plus
Education Funding How Districts Should Spend Federal School Safety Money
Districts should focus on the mental health needs of students, according to a Center for American Progress report.
3 min read
Image of money setting gears into play.
Laura Baker/Education Week and taweesak petphuang/iStock/Getty
Education Funding Schools Need Billions More to Make Up for Lost Learning Time, Researchers Argue
The projected price tag far exceeds ESSER aid already provided to help students recover from the pandemic.
5 min read
A man standing on the edge of a one dollar bill that is folded downward to look like a funding cliff.
iStock/Getty Images Plus