Education Leaders Stunned by “Race to the Top” Outcome
Louisiana’s “inexplicable” failure to make top 12 raises questions about Obama administration's commitment to reform
By Fergus Hodgson
Louisiana’s education leaders are wondering what more they can do to outperform other states in terms of reform. Louisiana failed to receive any funds in the federal “Race to the Top” program, and the lack of correlation between successful reform and monetary awards raises questions about the judging process.
Less than one month ago the U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, described Louisiana as “leading the way” with data systems that monitor teacher preparation programs and student performance. And on Tuesday the Fordham Institute, a Washington-based education policy think-tank, named New Orleans the most education reform friendly city in the nation.
According to Frederick Hess, Director of Education Policy Studies with the American Enterprise Institute, “[the outcome] was a travesty. Colorado and Louisiana are regarded as setting the standard for statutory reform on teacher quality… Louisiana’s Recovery School District is a model that has been imitated by round one ‘Race to the Top’ winner Tennessee.”