A little while back, on the day when the finalists for “Race to the Top” money were announced, we suggested that, “If Race to the Top is successful, it may help to usher in a new era in which competitive selection is used by the federal government in a way that could motivate states, counties or cities to focus more closely on improvements in performance outcomes.”
We’re still hoping that’s true.
But we just came across a piece in the Honolulu Star Bulletin that points to other potentially positive results of the competition to share in about $4.3 billion of federal funding intended to help improve school outcomes. According to the article Hawaii’s Department of Education “has incorporated the core of its ‘Race to the Top’ application in its 2011-2016 strategic plan, meaning it aims to achieve the stated goals whether or not it wins the federal money.”
That would be an impressive accomplishment for Hawaii and other states that may follow the same path. There is at least one sticky point, however: If all the states adopted all the “Race to the Top” goals, a good number would be doomed to failure on one front: the effort to ensure that students of a state will meet or exceed the national median by 2018 on the National Assessment of Educational Progress.
Sadly, Lake Wobegon is the only place where all the children can be above average.