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    CA Race to the Top



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    Join date : 2009-09-02

    CA Race to the Top

    Post  ashleychi on Thu May 13, 2010 6:57 pm

    Ashley Chi
    CA Race to the Top

    The “Race to the Top” is a competition administered by the Obama administration that encourages states to reform their educational standards, including the adoption of assessments that prepare students to succeed in college and compete in the global economy, advance the lower-achieving schools, and implementing effective teaching strategies. There is a total of $4.35 billion dollars to be distributed to the winners.
    Though California had lost out in the first round, mainly due criticized for its lack of support from teacher unions and school districts, state officials are now determined to enter the second round with new strategies and mindsets. At first, state officials were reluctant for reapplying for the second round, but federal officials have persuaded state leaders to apply. Freshman Shayan Farooq says, “I think that it was a good move on the state officials’ parts to reapply for the second round.” California education secretary Bonnie Reiss acted as one of the main persuaders, suggesting that California hire a consulting firm that earned praise for helping other states with their applications. Many foundations volunteered to provide funding. Another supporter was U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who called Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and him that the state’s new application would receive a thorough consideration. Deputy Education Secretary Anthony Miller also insisted that the reforms that would accompany the new application would be beneficial to students, whether or not California won the round or not. Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Ramon C. Cortines pushed for the application, citing a monumental budget crisis that would result in layoffs, cutbacks, and increased class sizes. If California wins this round, they could be awarded as much as $700 million. Freshman Kerry Wang says, “California could really benefit from the prize money, if we win the second round.”
    Though there are still conflicts between teachers’ unions and school officials between different issues, such as whether to link students’ standardized test scores to teacher reviews, state officials are confident that they will be able to work out a solution. Freshman Anna Wang states, “If it’s for the benefit of students, there is bound to be a compromise that will satisfy the officials, teachers, school districts, and impress the Obama administration."

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