Breaking Down Race to the Top Awards: Taking a Closer Look

Yesterday I gave you the lowdown on the winners of Round One Race to the Top dollars. But we keep learning more all the time.

First, my Education Policy Center friends Pam Benigno and Ben DeGrow discuss the fact that Colorado missed out on the money and why prospects for the second round of reforms may not be so great. Click the play button below (or follow this link) to listen to the new iVoices podcast:

But even since the podcast was recorded, we’ve learned more details about the Race to the Top awards. I have to admit I was quite surprised that Colorado finished 14th out of 16 (PDF)! At the Flypaper blog, Andy Smarick shows some connection between strong buy-in from unions and district leaders and higher scores. Unfortunately, as an exception, that didn’t work out too well for Colorado.

Even so, it’s promising to see state lawmakers on both sides of the aisle begin to interpret the results as a sign to move ahead on real substantive reform of teacher evaluations and tenure. While I still have some skepticism, Race to the Top does have the chance to effect some good here in Colorado. Let’s hope the reform efforts stay on track and don’t get derailed!