Education Funding

Race to Top’s Live Performances: How Key Were They?

March 29, 2010 2 min read

Next week, when the Education Department posts videos of the Race to the Top finalists’ appearances before a panel of reviewers, we’ll get to judge for ourselves which states came with tight, well-rehearsed pitches and which states fumbled, or may have just flat-out bombed.

But while we wait for those sure-to-be scintillating performances to go online, we can learn quite a bit about how each finalist did by comparing how many points they had going into the 90-minute presentations with how many points they had as their final score.

For two finalists&mdash New York and Ohio&mdash it’s an embarrassing outcome.

Both states lost points after making their live presentations: New York dropped by 2.6 points to finish in 15th place, and Ohio lost 4.8 points to end in 10th place. Going into the presentations, Ohio was tied with Illinois for fourth place with 423.4 points. What went wrong, Ohio?

It looks like the judges had a hard time squaring Ohio’s reform plans on paper with the political and logistical challenges that became clear during the state delegation’s interview. For example, one judge wrote that “professional union participation is presently only contemplated” in some school districts and that formal participation would have to be negotiated. That, said the reviewer, could negatively affect statewide implementation and impact.

Among the judges’ comments on New York’s presentation was one that said the state’s Race to the Top team failed to provide “enough explanation” as to how its department of education would ensure that the reforms it was proposing would be adopted on a wide-scale basis. And the judges docked New York for its team’s response to a question about the state’s cap on charters, which as the judge put it, “was not convincing enough to allay fears, that, as a state, NY lacks the collective will to make critical changes to existing laws that act as impediments to substantive reform.”

Delaware, which, along with Tennessee, won round one of the competition, must have knocked it out of the park with its presentation. Already in a strong second place position with 438.4 points as it headed into the final presentation, Delaware’s final score rose a whopping 16.2 points, which propelled it to a first place finish over Tennessee with 454.6 points. Tennessee only gained 0.8 points after its presentation to end with a final score of 444.2.

Jack Markell, Delaware’s governor, said in a conference call with reporters that the state’s Race to the Top delegation, which included him, rehearsed for seven straight days for several hours each day. He gave huge props to Diane Donohue, the president of the Delaware State Education Association, for her role on the team. She presented the state’s teacher effectiveness plan, which clearly made an impression on the judges.

In comments about the state’s presentation, one wrote that Delaware’s team “strongly conveyed the 100 percent commitment and buy-in from teachers and the teachers’ union.”

Related Tags:

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


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.
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Addressing Learning Loss: What Schools Need to Accelerate Reading Instruction in K-3
When K-3 students return to classrooms this fall, there will be huge gaps in foundational reading skills. Does your school or district need a plan to address learning loss and accelerate student growth? In this
Content provided by PDX Reading
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.
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Culturally Relevant Pedagogy to Advance Educational Equity
Schools are welcoming students back into buildings for full-time in-person instruction in a few short weeks and now is the perfect time to take a hard look at both our practices and systems to build
Content provided by PowerMyLearning
Classroom Technology Webinar Making Big Technology Decisions: Advice for District Leaders, Principals, and Teachers
Educators at all levels make decisions that can have a huge impact on students. That’s especially true when it comes to the use of technology, which was activated like never before to help students learn

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 What the House Education Spending Bill Would Do for Schools, in One Chart
House lawmakers have advanced a funding bill for next year with big increases for several education programs, but it's far from a done deal.
3 min read
Collage of Capitol dome and school
Education Funding House Democrats Pitch 'Massive Funding Increase' in Latest Education Spending Bill
The proposal would more than double aid to Title I programs for low-income students and aims to help schools address fallout from COVID-19.
4 min read
Drawing of money dropping into a jar.
Education Funding Feds Set Limits on Which Private Schools Can Get COVID-19 Relief
The Education Department's rules deal with $2.75 billion in American Rescue Plan aid set aside for private schools.
3 min read
Image of money.
Education Funding Feds OK First State Plans for Remaining Share of $122 Billion in K-12 Virus Aid
As it approved states' relief plans, the Education Department separately opened applications for $600 million in homeless-student aid.
5 min read
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, center, enters teacher Meghan Horleman's, right, classroom during a visit to the Olney Elementary School Annex in Philadelphia on April 6, 2021.
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona enters the classroom of teacher Meghan Horleman during a visit to the Olney Elementary School Annex in Philadelphia on April 6.
Tim Tai/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP