Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Race to the Top

Tennessee has historically been ranked near the bottom of the 50 states in education but it has won the first lottery in stimulus money in the 'race to the top' program. A one time $500 million grant that's been based on how well the state will follow the federal 'guidelines.' After the money is gone, any programs implemented will fall to state funding.

Some of the reports are hinting that professional corporate 'educators' will get a chunk of the money to go in and help the schools. It sounds like the beginnings of a 'corporatist' public school system using the strong arm of the feds to set an agenda.
In selecting winners, the education department used a complicated scoring system that weighted everything from states' willingness to track student and teacher performance, adopt uniform standards, and turn around or close their worst schools.
"Obviously, when they're dangling a carrot of half a billion dollars it doesn't hurt. Especially when we're scrambling for every penny," said Jerry Winters, director of government relations for the Tennessee Education Association. 

Teachers were leery of the proposed reforms, particularly the idea of using the state's massive data tracking system to evaluate their performance. In the end, Winters said, seven years of trust and cooperation between the union and the governor's office persuaded them to buy into the reforms.
 How will the state's $500M grant be spent?

I'm going to go with the idea that when the federal government gets involved in local education by dangling carrots in front of cash strapped states, it is not totally in the best interests of the children. The 'Obama reforms' will have a price.


  1. About Steve Cohen:

    It would seem that your analysis of his reasons for not signing is most likely the case. He already faces so-called “antisemitic” attacks in his predominantly Black district, and maybe figured that his signature would hurt him in re-election.

    + + +

    Cohen supports and is supported by J-Street PAC.

    From his J-Street profile:

    “Rep. Steve Cohen, Democrat (TN-09)

    “… Cohen passed legislation to create the Tennessee Holocaust Commission in 1984. Cohen served on the board of the Tennessee Holocaust Commission for 20 years and was honored by the Commission with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000. He has been honored by the Tennessee Council of Jewish Women and a speaker to the B’nai B’rith Board in New York City about his work on anti-Semitism, among other issues. Cohen has also been nationally recognized for his work on the separation of Church and State.

    “Rep. Cohen believes in the unbreakable relationship between the US and Israel but he takes issue with the notion that there is only “one way” to be pro-Israel. Cohen first traveled to Israel in 1987 and has been involved personally in the issues ever since.

    “Cohen’s support for Israel is through the belief that there must be a peaceful end to the conflict. He signed the Cohen-Boustany-Carnahan letter expressing support for President Obama’s Middle East policies and co-sponsored a House Resolution expressing support for the President’s appointment of Senator George Mitchell as US envoy to the Middle East.

    “Mr. Cohen…understands that engagement in the Middle East as a whole is vital for US and Israeli security interests, and advocates for aggressive US diplomacy with both Iran and Syria.

    “From his opposition to the war in Iraq, to his support of tough diplomacy with Iran and Syria, and his deep commitment to Israel and a two-state solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict, JStreetPAC is proud to re-endorse Rep. Steve Cohen.”

    + + +

    Cohen was a member of the Tennessee Holocaust Commission from 1984-2006.

    + + +

    In March 2005, Cohen was one of three Tennessee Senators to vote against the Tennessee Marriage Protection Amendment, which Tennessee voters approved via a referendum in November 2006. During the course of the debate on the amendment, Cohen offered several amendments to the amendment, all of which failed, including the proposed addition of an “adultery clause,” which said “Adultery is deemed to be a threat to the institution of marriage and contrary to public policy in Tennessee.”

    + + +

    Committee on the Judiciary:

    Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties
    Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law (Chairman)
    Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security
    Task Force on Judicial Impeachment

    + + +

    He is a member of the Congressional Caucus on US Turkish Relations and Turkish Americans. He has consistently opposed Congressional recognition of the Armenian Genocide on pragmatic grounds, believing that recognizing it officially in Congress would damage relations with Turkey.

    + + +

    Cohen is pro-infanticide.

  2. I remember when Obama was asked how education could be a federal and not a state matter, he started talking about his alleged visit to a school (in Alabama was it? Mississippi? I forget) where their wasn't one single computer and the roof was leaking.

    He never did explain why that's a federal matter.

    + + +

    Btw, on Cohenopposition to the Tennessee Marriage Protection Amendment, and his "amendments to the amendment, all of which failed, including the proposed addition of an adultery clause":

    Crafty bastard. Opposed it because he's in favour of queer marriage, but didn't want to say so, so instead he pretended that his opposition to the act was because he thought it didn't do enough to protect marriage, and so he threw in some dumb time-wasting smoke-screen amendments that had no hope of ever passing.

  3. a good picture of German boys, you've found here, from the time when education was positive. Schools had a long tradition from Wilhelm v.Humbold, Pestalozzi.and many others. It was the idealism of teachers and educators that counted.
    Today as in the US, it is always a matter of finance, and why do Jews play any role in Christian or folkish education, is a problem Christians have to be warned about.. the most negative idea is that holocaust teachings: absolutely negative and destructive.

  4. Somewhat off topic but you might want to know. I don't think Americans are going to catch on to the vaccine scam before millions of children are destroyed.


    "Another child in Tennessee has became ill after the second dose of the Swine Flu Vaccine. The two year old male child received his 2nd dose one week ago. Previously, he was healthy and playful. He developed a low grade fever afterwards, which is a normal reaction to a flu vaccine. As the week progressed, he started to have pains in his left arm, despite the shot being administered in his thigh, and did not use it during play. The mother of the child even stated she did not know why she allowed her child to receive the vaccine, and the father thought it was all hype. Despite warnings from their parental intuition, they submitted their child to a toxic vaccine."

  5. maybe you will post this

    What it means to be a Jew in one and a half minutes