Saturday, December 4, 2010

You won't find this in the Boston Globe

In fact, I can't find any evidence that any press has covered it in Massachusetts.
Of the much-mentioned 276 districts that originally signed on for Race to the Top in Massachusetts, 19 districts (or LEAs...I can't find a list, so I don't know if some are charter schools) have dropped out of the program.
On the one hand, among the school systems that asked out of the state’s plan, concerns about the costs of implementing it were the “dominant calculus,” said Mitchell D. Chester, the state’s commissioner of education. Many of those participants, he noted, were slated to receive small amounts of federal money—in some cases $20,000 or $80,000—and some would have received nothing.
This is very much in keeping with a meeting I was at with urban superintendents, in which several--including Worcester's Superintendent Boone--pushed the Commissioner on the lack of administrative support from the state for a very complicated, multiple part program; this is true not only in Massachusetts, but around the country, including Ohio, which has seen 1 out of every 11 district participating drop out. Very little money can be used on administration (I believe it's the usual grant 2%) at a time when administration is already stretched thin on the ground, especially in smaller districts, already. Contrary to Forest Hinton's faux disbelief that this might be about what works, what doesn't, and how much money is involved, it very much is.
Oh, and principles. Here's to Superintendent William C. Matthews for deciding it wasn't enough money to buy out his.

1 comment:

Jim Gonyea said...

My decision to vote against Race to the Top in Leicester was a mix of not wanting to kowtow to the Federal government and the simple fact that administration costs would have been higher than the grant award we would have gotten. I wasn't much interested in spending fifty thousand dollars to administer a thirty thousand dollar grant. None of the money will help one bit in bringing back lost teachers or programs. It would be a very adminstratively heavy new program and a waste of time and energy.