So the Dep’t of Ed is confirming that DE and TN are the two Round 1 winners for RTT. Quick reax: Both states had good applications but also some areas of concern, still both are defensible choices. When scoring info is released will be interesting to see why LA and FL fell short given the strength of their applications though (and I’m still puzzled on IN). The others from the finalist round are understandable although RI & DC seemed plausible and should have strong Round II apps.
Update: Two states is undoubtedly a real credit to Secretary Duncan (and to Joanne Weiss). Will be interesting to see who owns up to that after all the rhetoric.
Three things to keep an eye on. First, “they’re trying to wash us away…” where is LA’s application in the scoring mix? That’s perhaps the biggest surprise here?
Second, when everything is released there will likely be a lively debate about the scoring. Unfortunately, a bunch of irresponsible allegations and efforts to erode confidence in the process may cloud a more pedestrian but important problem – the overall quality of the scoring and whether there was an over-correction for Reading First in reviewer selection. For instance DE’s approach to highly effective teachers is debatable (a teacher can be deemed effective even if their students don’t make a year of progress in a year). How did reviewers think about that? Were states penalized for having less consensus around really edgy applications?** Etc…etc…*
Finally, both TN and DE have strong state education advocacy organizations. Easy to mistake correlation for causation since many states that didn’t make it have them, too, but worth looking at the role that these groups played in both states…
*Also, PS, if you think RTT scoring was complicated, wait until I3…
**Reading through the score sheets this appears to be a factor, but not the only one, influencing why some of the boldest apps didn’t fare well. It also appears that Secretary Duncan’s call for boldness didn’t translate to the review process.