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Posts tagged with “Race to the Top Funds”

Wisconsin Never Had a Chance

The winners of the first round of “Race to the Top” funding are out, and they were Delaware and Tennessee.  So congratulations to the 1st State and the Volunteer State. Here’s hoping the interstate fighting for federal cash does wonders.

So, how did the Badger State do?  According to the findings by the Department of Education, Wisconsin may have either never had a chance, or factions inside Wisconsin were never going to give to win the funding.

Wisconsin ranked 26th out of 41 states and the District of Columbia that applied for the first round of Race to the Top, a competitive grant process meant to stimulate education reform across the country.

The winners of the first round of the $4.35 billion competition – Delaware and Tennessee – were announced today by the U.S. Dept. of Education. Finalists for the first round included the District of Columbia and 15 other states.

Likely to spark chatter among state leaders and others following education in Wisconsin is the state’s Race to the Top scorecard, which shows Wisconsin earning 341.2 points out of a possible 500.

For comparision, winners Delaware and Tennessee scored an initial 454.6 points and 444.2 points, respectively.

We’re still sifting through the score card and reviewer comments, but it appears Wisconsin’s score was reached by averaging the final scores of five reviewers that assesed the state’s application. The scores from the reviewers ranged from a high of 381 to one reviewer’s score of 293 points.

One theme that emerged among a number of reviewers: Wisconsin lost points because school districts were not explicitly committed to working on certain aspects of Race to the Top criteria. One reviewer points out that only 11% of district-level union leaders committed to the projects Wisconsin proposed in its application.

So when do we just stop and admit the following:

1) WEAC isn’t going to let a little thing like “Better Grades and Performance for Kids” ruin what they have going now.

2) The trip to Madison to announce “Race to the Top” was not about Wisconsin, it was about pushing Tom Barrett into running for governor.

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