Education Week is reporting that every state recipient of Race to the Top funds but Georgia has requested amendments to its original federal education grant. States received funding — in part — based on what they promised to do and the expected results. Now it seems they can’t deliver what they thought.
North Carolina, one of ten states to be awarded Race to the Top funds in the second round of competition, has requested amendments to its original grant, four times since the beginning of the year (see list of amendments here). Amendments include requests to revise down the number of teachers recruited to the NC Teacher Corps program, update the number of “low performing schools” and attendant changes, change the project’s fiscal management authority and expand the time associated with planning and design of the Instructional Improvement System.
All the changes in NC and elsewhere look like results will get back loaded. There is pressure on schools to perform. But states made those promises, based on what they thought they could do with the money. These developments certainly paint federal and state efforts as overly ambitious. Do you for a single minute think the Obama administration is going to let their signature education program go down in failure?… Unfortunately, that’s part of the problem.
… If I needed to grade the states on the application process, I’d have a hard time giving any of them a satisfactory grade.