Have you heard something about a national education initiative titled: Race to the Top (RTTT)? Well this initiative was created from whole cloth by President Obama’s Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Just as Obamacare is a federal takeover of our health care system, RTTT is the federal takeover of our public education system.
The U.S. Department of Education created the Race to the Top program under the Stimulus Bill (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, or ARRA) in early 2009. With a federal grant of $4.35 billion, Arne Duncan had a very large “carrot” to lure the states to enter into a competition for these funds in the name of “education reform”.
Henry W. Burke and Donna Garner wrote a column in Education News titled, “The Race to the Top Scheme”. According to Henry and Donna:
“Let’s pose a question. If you wanted to ‘sell’ something that a number of people did not need, how would you do it? You might try setting up a contest where everyone competes for a significant financial prize. After all, Americans love to compete, especially when money goes to the winner.
Here are the contest details: The competitors are strapped for cash; the competitors must give up some of their prized possessions in order to qualify; and the game organizers do not announce all of the rules until the game is well underway. How fair does this sound?”
“This is exactly what Barack Obama and U. S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan have done with Common Core Standards (CCS) and Race to the Top (RTTT),” say Henry and Donna.
Former Governor Charlie Crist and former Florida Commissioner of Education Eric J. Smith bought into this initiative hook-line-and-sinker. Crist and Smith, with the willing assistance of the Republican dominated legislature sold out our state sovereignty, gave up control of our public school curriculum and local parental oversight of our schools for a mere $63 per student.
Florida sold the souls of generations of our public school students for $63.
Let me explain how this happened. The chart provided by Henry and Donna in their column shows Florida came in 4th in the RTTT competition. It will receive a RTTT grant in the amount of $700,000,000 over 4 years. Florida, according to the most recent DOE enrollment numbers (2009), has 2,771,000 public school students. Simple division gives you $63 per student per grant year.
What did Crist, Smith and the Florida legislature surrender for this $63?
Henry and Nancy found, “Duncan waited until the state contracts were signed before he made the rest of the plan clear: States would have to adopt the Common Core Standards (national standards) in order to qualify for Race to the Top funds. Other “surprises” included national assessments, national curriculum, and an elaborate national tracking system to link student assessment scores to individual teachers.” [My emphasis]
RTTT money is temporary, but the “pain” of Common Core Standards will last for many years to come!
By accepting RTTT monies Florida has literally turned over our public education system to the federal government but you and I are still paying the bill.
Sound like someone just sold us snake oil? Well, thank a Florida Republican legislator for RTTT.
Comment by Bob Root32 minutes ago By my calculation, approximately half of the $700 million was kept by the states to develop the common core standards. This means that per pupil per year amount to the school districts would be more like $31.50. Your guess about how much actually gets down to the student.
The DOE/Arne Duncan have to go. Along with all the other alphabet soup departments.
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