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Status Quo Strongholds Share Same Stage as Education Reform Leaders

Jeanne Allen on ‘Race to the Top’ Phase 2 Finalists

CER Press Release
Washington, DC
July 27, 2010

Jeanne Allen, President of The Center for Education Reform, released the following statement today regarding the announcement of the names of the 19 Finalists in the ‘Race to the Top’ competition:

“The designation of Finalist status to 19 states out 36 applications in the ‘Race to the Top’ is disheartening. The fact that status quo strongholds are sharing the same stage as truly groundbreaking education reform leaders such as Florida, New York and the District of Columbia in a competition ostensibly focused on education reform efforts shows that the ‘Race to the Top’ is inherently broken in both its scoring and priorities.

“Kentucky has rejected every opportunity to establish a charter school law, while New York reform leaders had to fight tooth and nail just to provide more charter opportunities to families there. And while Florida worked to abolish teacher tenure and establish a rigorous new evaluation process, Maryland handed the teachers union a blank slate for their evaluation criteria.

“Education reform has not moved forward through federal prodding, but by the work of parents, advocates and strong legislative leaders in states who see that special interests have blocked educational opportunities for our students. The ‘Race to the Top’ should reward only those states that have disrupted business-as-usual in our schools, not succumb to the everyone’s-a-winner scenario presented by today’s selection of finalists.”