Pull the curtains back and look outside

States were a little slow to get moving on Early Learning Challenge after the program was announced in May, but things seem to be heating up: officials in New York and Georgia have announced that they will be competing for the grant, and Kentucky has created an Early Learning Advisory Council to try to boost their competitiveness (although they seem to be running behind on this one). And a group of major early childhood funders announced they’re creating an Early Learning Challenge consortium to help states develop their applications and also to support implementation once grants are awarded. Guess that answers this question.

UPDATE: Ed Week reports that 36 states and D.C. have submitted letters of intent to apply for Early Learning Challenge Race to the Top.

–Sara Mead

3 thoughts on “Pull the curtains back and look outside

  1. John PIscal

    RTT and i3 are initiatives that few people would call successful. While we can withhold judgement on the Early Learning Challenge, we can be certain that the process will be long, political, and unfulfilling.

    Education reform initiatives are too often written by those who deal with States, agencies, and Districts on the theoretical level. Such policy writers are so far removed from the political, district, and bureaucratic obstacles that confront “front line” reformers, that they find it difficult to comprehend how the theoretical had so much trouble becoming practical.

    Sometimes “front line” reformers like charter schools ask themselves, “Are these folks trying to help us, or hurt us?”

    Having participated in the application for RTT and i3, I doubt that I would ever take the time to reapply.

    If I were to counsel any organization on the application process for any Federal initiatives, there would be a serious discussion on availability of human capital resources, political influences, and money.

    Even with the best of intentions, top down policies rarely impact the classroom. Worse, top down funding doesn’t make it there either. To the inexperienced and naive (me) you soon discover that it actually cost you money to apply for the funds you needed to aid your teachers and students.

  2. Karl Wheatley

    I agree with John.

    If I were a billionaire, I’d reimburse states would they would lose from withdrawing from all these federal mandates–just so they could get back to state and local control and things that really make sense–not just clever rhetoric that doesn’t work.

    It’s time to end this educational De-form movement.

  3. Attorney DC

    I agree with Karl and John. This top-down federal interference with K-12 education is unlikely to help — and likely to hurt — the states’ public schools. You can’t dictate the minutiae of K-12 teaching practice across the country from Capitol Hill.

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