There is a fun discussion going on about the Obama Administration’s Race to the Top today at an event in D.C. And some of the key behind the scenes players like Ann Whalen are stepping out for it. You can follow along via this hashtag on Twitter. The underlying question is obviously whether RTT will “work.” I’ve written previously that it’s just too early to answer that.
But it may not be the right question anyway. The RTT initiative has indisputably created space for and caused a bunch of changes to state education policy. All of those won’t turn out to be durable (or even good ideas) but it’s undeniably a pivot point. Meanwhile we spend $650 billion annually on K-12 schools. So is getting the amount of change we’ve seen in a notoriously change-averse field for a one time shot of $3.5 billion – or less than one percent of what we spend yearly – a pretty good deal? That’s a hard sell politically but it just might be the case.