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Is Race to the Top Making the Grade with Teachers? (page 2)

Is Race to the Top Making the Grade with Teachers?

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based on 19 ratings
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July 12, 2010
Updated on Jul 12, 2010

Striking a Balance

The educational community has taken some heat for negativism in the first two rounds of Race to the Top. For most teachers, however, this is anything but true. The 325,000-strong California Teachers Association’s policy statement on Race to the Top stresses the potential good of the initiative: “If done right, we believe [Race to the Top] grants could accelerate education reform at the state and local levels and go a long way toward ensuring great public schools for every student.”

Just the same, many educational organizations express misgivings that Race to the Top is simply more abortive policy under a different name. Ravitch is troubled that what the administration calls “turning around” underperforming schools could translate into mass firings or transference of public schools into private management, when “[n]one of these approaches has worked under [No Child Left Behind].”

To teachers who see themselves as puppets of reform, such wariness and worry is understandable. “Many teachers are just barely keeping up with everything that they already have to do,” says Bailey. Teachers, he says, are “trying to change lives for the better with every moment we have with children. We embrace higher academic goals, better test results, and even greater accountability . . . but in the process, please don’t slow us down.”

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