The news that Race to the Top implementation is running into some speed bumps in states isn’t a surprise. The demands RTTT makes on state education agencies—to oversee and support performance, collect data, and analyze the effects of policy and practice on improvement—go far beyond what SEAs were originally designed to do.
How can states get started? They could imitate the talent strategies that key districts (e.g., New York City and Washington, DC) have used in redeveloping their central offices. For example: putting a senior executive in charge of human capital management; separating the talent strategy from HR process improvements; revamping policies and processes that frustrate flexibility and performance; and changing the organizational culture inside the bureaucracy to focus on performance.
For a short CRPE paper on this idea, go here.