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
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Your Questions on the Science of Reading, Answered
Dive into the Science of Reading with K-12 leaders. Discover strategies, policy insights, and more in our webinar.
Content provided by Otus
Mathematics Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Breaking the Cycle: How Districts are Turning around Dismal Math Scores
Math myth: Students just aren't good at it? Join us & learn how districts are boosting math scores.
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 Achievement Webinar
How To Tackle The Biggest Hurdles To Effective Tutoring
Learn how districts overcome the three biggest challenges to implementing high-impact tutoring with fidelity: time, talent, and funding.
Content provided by Saga Education

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 Education Dept. Sees Small Cut in Funding Package That Averted Government Shutdown
The Education Department will see a reduction even as the funding package provides for small increases to key K-12 programs.
3 min read
President Joe Biden delivers a speech about healthcare at an event in Raleigh, N.C., on March 26, 2024.
President Joe Biden delivers a speech about health care at an event in Raleigh, N.C., on March 26. Biden signed a funding package into law over the weekend that keeps the federal government open through September but includes a slight decrease in the Education Department's budget.
Matt Kelley/AP
Education Funding Biden's Budget Proposes Smaller Bump to Education Spending
The president requested increases to Title I and IDEA, and funding to expand preschool access in his 2025 budget proposal.
7 min read
President Joe Biden delivers remarks on lowering prices for American families during an event at the YMCA Allard Center on March 11, 2024, in Goffstown, N.H.
President Joe Biden delivers remarks on lowering prices for American families during an event at the YMCA Allard Center on March 11, 2024, in Goffstown, N.H. Biden's administration released its 2025 budget proposal, which includes a modest spending increase for the Education Department.
Evan Vucci/AP
Education Funding States Are Pulling Back on K-12 Spending. How Hard Will Schools Get Hit?
Some states are trimming education investments as financial forecasts suggest boom times may be over.
6 min read
Collage illustration of California state house and U.S. currency background.
F. Sheehan for Education Week / Getty
Education Funding Using AI to Guide School Funding: 4 Takeaways
One state is using AI to help guide school funding decisions. Will others follow?
5 min read
 Illustration of a robot hand drawing a graph line leading to budget and finalcial spending.
iStock/Getty