Archive for Thursday, March 4, 2010

Kansas out of running in first round of `Race to the Top’ education grant competition

March 4, 2010, 1:26 p.m. Updated March 4, 2010, 1:26 p.m.


— Kansas failed to be selected as a finalist in the first round of the federal “Race to the Top” education reform program, officials said Thursday.

“Though this is not the news we expected, we will submit an application during Phase II of the competition,” said Kansas Interim Education Commissioner Diane DeBacker.

“We are confident that we are strong competitors to receive this funding, and we will continue to pursue this award,” DeBacker said.

“Race to the Top” grants are awarded for innovation in the public schools. It is the largest federal competition for grants, and will total $4.35 billion.

Kansas applied for $166 million that would be split between school districts and the state Department of Education to implement 31 projects.

Forty states, including Kansas, and the District of Columbia applied during the first round.

The U.S. Department of Education named 16 finalists: Colorado, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Tennessee.

The winners will be chosen in April, and a second round of applications accepted in June, which is when Kansas will re-submit its bid.


Graczyk 5 years, 7 months ago

Like this is surprising for a state that periodically tries to have evolution removed from textbooks. Though I am surprised to see Florida in the list of finalists. I moved from there 2 years ago. The schools there are a joke. I do think that Kansas schools are better.

douglas6280 5 years, 7 months ago

Lets face it, in the end this money will go to a state that Obama carried in '08. That is the way FDR did things with the New Deal and government programs during the Depression.

texburgh 5 years, 7 months ago

douglas6280: While I would tend to agree with you, you apparently did not read the list of states. Some are notably Republican.

Hawkman 5 years, 7 months ago

Actually, the real reason Kansas didn't qualify is because teachers unions force districts to keep poor teachers and refuse to discuss holding themselves accountable for student learning --state assessment scores. Who else has a job for which it is almost impossible to be fired?

texburgh 5 years, 7 months ago

Hawkman, are you really as ignorant as your post would suggest?

"teachers unions force districts to keep poor teachers..." BS. The teachers union in Kansas is hardly able to force districts to do anything. There is no tenure in Kansas, only a right to a hearing in which a teacher can try to show the firing was arbitrary or capricious. If there are poor teachers, it is because school administrators are too lazy to put down their donuts, walk out of the office, and actually document poor performance.

"state assessment scores..." Is there a problem here? Kansas state assessment scores and the number of schools meeting goals under NCLB are extremely high. In fact, Kansas assessment scores go up every year for every subgroup of students as well as students in general.

"impossible to be fired?" Ask the 2100 teachers who were fired this year with no reason given. And if you want more fired, refer to my first paragraph - fire incompetent administrators who would rather whine about how hard their jobs are than to actually do the work.

texburgh 5 years, 7 months ago

Douglas6280 - indeed you did. My point is that while I was sure Kansas would not get the money because there is no amount of monetary help that would persuade Kansans to abandon their right wing zealotry and vote for Obama, the list indicates that money will indeed flow to some states that, like Kansas, will never vote for Obama - ie: Louisiana, Georgia, Kentucky.

I think we actually do agree. But there appear to be a few bones to R states in the first round.

Danimal 5 years, 7 months ago

Why is DC even allowed to apply? Why don't we let Guam and Puerto Rico apply too? Seriously, the DC school system is already directly funded by Federal dollars, and no one in America spends more money per pupil than DC. That being said, many of the worst schools and lowest achieving students in America can be found in Washington, DC.

I'm sick of DC, it's time to move everyone out so it's a giant Federal office park like the Founders intended. No one was ever supposed to live there permanently, and now that we have the transportation technologies to realize that, no one should.

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