Charlie Barone has been pointing out for a while that based on the estimated allocation amounts in the final Race to the Top regulations it’s mathematically impossible for every state to get a grant absent a major political failure. He’s right, but there is also a number between say a dozen and 50 that if we get past it will mean the potential impact of the money is being diluted.
On the other hand, Rick Hess thinks that advocating for a Race to the Top outcome whereby only a small number of states are winners in Round One establishes a fungible standard so that victory can be declared under a variety of outcomes. But it’s less complicated than that. For Round One there is a number between zero and somewhere in the low-single digits that will indicate seriousness in terms of the number of states that win. And Rick overlooks that a lot of people have read and been involved in various applications and have a lot of visibility into the state plans, so it’ll be hard to fool or get away with much here.
On all this, Andy Smarick turns in a piece that’s well worth reading in Ed Next. If you want to read one long analysis on all this it’s hard to do better.
Around the states there is a lot of chatter in the wake of the Round One deadline. Geoffery Canada takes his state, NY, to task. In CO they passed some last-minute legislation but not everything the state needed so the governor just established a council to look at some of the knotty issues around teacher effectiveness. Finally, some of the small states are worried that size may work against them and you hear some buzz that small states are too small to make a difference. But places like Washington DC, Rhode Island, or Delaware offer the chance for some interesting work, at scale, if they can pull it off.
One Reply to “At The Races!”
Interesting to look at some of the applications states have turned in that are posted on line, and see that they have included the CCSSI draft math standards. (Florida is one such state that included them). Note that the draft (grade-by-grade) standards have not yet been released to the public for comment, but they have been released to the states. Sounds like the solicitation for public comments is just window dressing and why should anyone think different? A boatload of states signed on to adopt the standards before even seeing anything.
Reading through the standards for math, some things are good, many things are bad. The standards are not just what kids need to have mastered, but also include the pedagogy. Students “must understand that…” That approach has already been tried in a number of programs like Investigations in Number, Data and Space, and Everyday Math with disastrous results.
Interesting also that the “standard algorithms” are nowhere required to be learned.