Race to the Top: A better chance this time?

Thursday, June 10th, 2010 at 1:49 pm by

Earlier this week U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said “I think New York has worked extraordinarily hard” to strengthen its second chance application for federal Race to the Top funding.

He singled out the approval of legislation raising the state’s charter school cap as an example.

Gotham Schools provides a 647 word summary of the state’s 450+ page new application.

The complete application is here.

Despite being given barely more than two days to act on the State Education Department’s request for memorandums of understanding in support of the new application, 91 percent of districts did submit MOUs signed by their superintendents.

Whatever one thinks of the actions taken to improve the state’s chances for funding, they should have that effect.

My earlier analysis of the state’s first application noted its greatest weaknesses were in developing a longitudinal data system and using evaluations to inform key personnel decisions.  Legislation was adopted to address both.

The state also won a $19.7 million federal grant to assist with building the data system.

I explained that although we were not far behind the winning states in the first round (Delaware and Tennessee) on the charter/innovative schools item, it was an area with a significant number of points (13) available to be gained.

We are frustrated that more was not done to address the potential financial impact of charter school expansion on districts outside of New York City.

Here again is the chart I did comparing New York’s scores on each of the RTTT criteria with higher ranked states in the first round competition.

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