College & Workforce Readiness

Massachusetts: Pulling Out of Race to Top Round 2?

By Catherine Gewertz — May 19, 2010 1 min read

It was only Monday that we were telling you how Massachusetts Commissioner of Education Mitchell Chester had laid out a timeline for common-standards adoption that would get the state maximum points in Round 2 of Race to the Top. Now comes news that maybe Massachusetts won’t apply at all.

Chester told a Boston radio station that it’s “maddening” that the state lost points in Round 1 because it refused to promise it would adopt common standards before the final version was even out. Nonetheless, he said, the state is moving ahead at full speed to prepare its application, but it’s not sure it will actually submit it.

Hmmm. It’s not as though the final standards document will come as a surprise to top Massachusetts education officials, who have been working closely with the standards-writers the whole way through. (The state board of education, which will have to go thumbs-up-or-down on the standards, has not had the same level of intimate involvement, though.)

Both Chester and state Education Secretary Paul Reville have, you might remember, made a very public and very repeated point of saying that the state would not adopt any standards that are inferior to its own much-admired set. So it was interesting to hear on Monday of the RTT-compliant timeline Chester had sketched out for the board. And now, perhaps, some misgivings?

A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.