Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced today that he has not selected California as a finalist for $700 million—its proposed share in the first round of $4.35 billion in Race to the Top funds for public schools. That’s disappointing news, especially after state lawmakers amended and wrote laws—including linking teachers’ performance to their students’ test scores—to qualify for the money. Then again, it’s not surprising, considering less than half of school districts and teachers unions agreed to sign an agreement requiring them to abide by the reforms. Why wasn’t California selected and what hope is there now for reforming the Golden State’s not-so-golden apple? Patt gets some answers from some of Race to the Top’s biggest proponents and opponents in the state legislature.
Kathy Gaither, Undersecretary of Education for California; Gov. Schwarzenegger’s point person on Race to the Top reform
Assemblywoman Julia Brownley, D-Santa Monica; Chair of the Assembly Committee on Education
Sen. Gloria Romero, D-Los Angeles; Chair of the Senate Education Committee