Alliance for Excellent Education and the Commission on No Child Left Behind. 2010, January 25. Don’t Leave Accountability Behind: A Call for ESEA Reauthorization.Google Scholar
Banchero, Stephanie. 2010. “Education Contest Yields 18 Finalists.” Wall Street Journal, July 28.Google Scholar
Beam, David R., and Timothy J. Conlan. 2002. “Grants.” In The Tools of Government: A Guide to The New Governance, edited by Lester M. Salamon, 340–380. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Brill, Stephen. 2010. “The Teachers Unions Last Stand.” New York Times, June 6.Google Scholar
Brody, Leslie. 2010. “Districts to Disclose Teacher Ratings.” Star Ledger, September 23.Google Scholar
Carey, Kevin. 2011. “An Admirable Move for the Country’s Biggest Teachers’ Union.” The New Republic, July 11.Google Scholar
Cavanagh, Sean. 2010a. “NJ Clings to Agenda Despite Race to Top Loss.” Education Week, September 7.Google Scholar
Cavanagh, Sean. 2010b. “Race to the Top Winners Press Ahead, Despite Pushback.” Education Week, December 2.Google Scholar
Cavanagh, Sean. 2011. “State Legislatures Notch Major K-12 Policy Changes.” Education Week, May 23.Google Scholar
Center on Education Policy. 2007. “Educational Architects: Do State Education Agencies Have the Tools Necessary to Implement NCLB?”.Google Scholar
Center on Education Policy. 2010 August 31. “School Districts’ Perspectives on the Economic Stimulus Package: School Improvement Grants Present Uncertainty and Opportunity.”Google Scholar
Center on Education Policy. 2011 February. “More to Do, But Less Capacity to Do It.”Google Scholar
Cohen, David K., and Susan L. Moffitt. 2009. The Ordeal of Equality: Did Federal Regulation Fix the Schools? Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Colvin, Richard Lee, and Suzanne Kubach. 2010. “The Race to Reform: How Education Reform Advocates Are Leveraging Race to the Top.” Policy Innovators in Education White Paper, April. Accessed November 19, 2010. Available at: www.pie-network.org/c/document_library/get_file?uuid=92033314-337c-434e-80c6-a137ead3f57d&groupId=10457.
Democrats for Education Reform. 2010. “Race to the Top Backgrounder.” July. Available at: http://swiftandchangeable.org/media/Who%20We%20Are/DFER.rhetoricvreality.pdf.
Derthick, Martha. 1970. The Influence of Federal Grants. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Dillon, Sam. 2010. “Education Grant Effort Faces Late Opposition.” New York Times, January 19.Google Scholar
Education Week. 2009 December 2. “An Interview with Arne Duncan.”Google Scholar
Elmore, Richard. 2002. “Unwarranted Intrusion.” Education Next 2 (1 Spring).Google Scholar
Felch, Jason, Jason Song, and Doug Smith. 2010. “Grading the Teachers.” Los Angeles Times, August 14. Accessed November 19, 2010. Available at: www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-teachers-value-20100815,0,2695044.story.
Finn, Checker. 2010. “RTTT Mostly Got It Right.” Education Gadfly, August 26.Google Scholar
Fusarelli, Bonnie, and Bruce Cooper, eds. 2009. The Rising State: How State Power is Transforming Our Nation’s Schools. New York: SUNY Press.Google Scholar
General Accounting Office. 2011. “Race to the Top: Reform Efforts Are Under Way and Information Sharing Could Be Improved.” June. Accessed from: http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d11658.pdf.
Glazerman, Steven, et al. 2011 April 26. Passing Muster: Evaluating Teacher Evaluation Systems. Brookings Institution.Google Scholar
Gordon, Robert, Thomas Kane, and Douglas Staiger. 2006. Identifying Effective Teachers Using Performance on the Job. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution.Google Scholar
Greenhouse, Steven, and Sam Dillon. 2010. “School’s Shake-Up Is Embraced by the President.” New York Times, March 6.Google Scholar
Harrison, David. 2010. “School Reform Engine May be Losing Momentum.” Stateline, November 24.Google Scholar
Hartney, Michael, and Patrick Flavin. 2011. “From the Schoolhouse to the Statehouse: Teacher Union Political Activism and U.S. State Education Reform Policy.” State Politics and Policy Quarterly, June.Google Scholar
Heiten, Liana. 2011. “States Continue Push to Toughen Teacher Policies.” Education Week, July 12.Google Scholar
Henig, Jeffrey. 2009, July. “Mayors, Governors, and Presidents: The New Education Executives and the End of Education Exceptionalism.” Peabody Journal of Education 84 (3): 283–299.CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Hess, Frederick. 2010. “Louisiana Schools Chief Paul Pastorek Reflects on RTTT.” Rick Hess Straight Up, August 27.Google Scholar
Hess, Frederick M., and Chester E. Finn Jr., eds. 2007. No Remedy Left Behind: Lessons from a Half-Decade of NCLB. Washington, DC: American Enterprise Institute.Google Scholar
Hupp, Staci. 2010. “School Reluctant to Take Reform Money.” Des Moines Register, April 18.Google Scholar
Kincaid, John. 1990, May. “From Cooperative to Coercive Federalism.” The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 509 (1): 139–152.Google Scholar
Klein, Alyson. 2010a. “Race to Top Viewed as Template for a New ESEA.” Education Week, January 4.Google Scholar
Klein, Alyson. 2010b. “District-State Tension an Issue in Race to the Top.” Politics K–12, January 5.Google Scholar
Klein, Alyson. 2010c. “IG: ED Could Have Done a Better Job Tracking Stimulus Funds.” Politics K–12, September 30.Google Scholar
Krigman, Eliza. 2010. “Accountability in the Race to the Top Program.” National Journal Expert Blogs: Education, March 8.Google Scholar
Learning Point Associates. 2010. “Emerging Trends Reflected in State Phase I Race to the Top Applications.” June. Available at: http://www.learningpt.org/pdfs/RTTTT_State_Legislation.pdf.
Malen, Betty. 2003, May. “Tightening the Grip? The Impact of State Activism on Local School Systems.” Educational Policy 17 (2): 195–216.Google Scholar
Manna, Paul. 2006. School’s in: Federalism and the National Education Agenda. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.Google Scholar
Manna, Paul. 2010. Collision Course: Federal Education Policy Meets State and Local Realities. Washington, DC: CQ Press.Google Scholar
Marr, Kendra. 2010. “Obama School Plan Riles Lawmakers.” Politico, May 14.Google Scholar
McDonnell, Lorraine. 2010 October. Surprising Momentum: Spurring Education reform in States and Localities. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
McGuinn, Patrick. 2006. No Child Left Behind and the Transformation of Federal Education Policy, 1965–2005. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas.Google Scholar
McGuinn, Patrick. 2010a. Creating Cover and Constructing Capacity: Assessing the Origins, Evolution, and Impact of Race to the Top. American Enterprise Institute.Google Scholar
McGuinn, Patrick. 2010b. Ringing the Bell for K–12 Teacher Tenure Reform. Washington, DC: Center for American Progress.Google Scholar
McNeil, Michele. 2009. “Racing for an Early Edge.” Education Week.Google Scholar
McNeil, Michele. 2011a. “More Race to the Top Winner Push Back Promises.” Politics K-12 blog, July 13.Google Scholar
McNeil, Michele. 2011b. “States: Stimulus Aid Sparked Progress on Goals.” Education Week.Google Scholar
Mead, Sara. 2010. “RTTT and the Problem of Trying to Do Too Many Things at Once.” Sara Mead’s Policy Notebook, August 30.Google Scholar
Mintrop, Heinrich, and Gail Sunderman. 2009, June. “Predictable Failure of Federal Sanctions – Driven Accountability of School Improvement – And Why We May Retain It Anyway.” Educational Researcher 38 (5): 353–364.Google Scholar
Mitchell, Nancy. 2010. “How Colorado Lost Race to the Top.” Education Week, August 27.Google Scholar
Moe, Terry. 2011. Special Interest: Teachers Unions and America’s Public Schools. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press.Google Scholar
Nee, Eric. 2010, November 19. “Q&A: Joanne Weiss.” Stanford Social Innovation Review. Spring 2010, 15. Accessed November 19, 2010. Available at: www.ssireview.org/articles/entry/qa_joanne_weiss.
New York Times. 2010, August 28. Continue the Race.Google Scholar
Paulson, Amanda. 2010. “Race to the Top Losers: Why Did Louisiana and Colorado Fail?” Christian Science Monitor, August 24.Google Scholar
Peterson, Paul, Barry Rabe, and Kenneth Wong. 1986. When Federalism Works. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press.Google Scholar
Petrilli, Michael. 2010. “A Big Flop on Race to the Top.” Education Gadfly, August 26.Google Scholar
Riley, Benjamin. 2012. “Waive to the Top: the Dangers of Legislating Education Policy from the Executive Branch.” American Enterprise Institute Outlook, March 8.Google Scholar
Robelen, Erik. 2009. “State Legislatures Wrestle with Charter Laws.” Education Week, August 3.Google Scholar
Sawchuk, Stephen. 2009. “Duncan Presses NEA on Merit Pay, Tenure.” Education Week, July 2.Google Scholar
Sawchuk, Stephen. 2010. “States Strive to Overhaul Teacher Tenure.” Education Week, April 5.Google Scholar
Shelly, Bryan. 2008. “Rebels and their Causes: State Resistance to No Child Left Behind.” Publius: The Journal of Federalism 38 (3): 444–468.Google Scholar
Simendinger, Alexis. 2011. “Feeling Legislative Chill, Obama Flexes Executive Muscles.” Real Clear Politics, September 26.Google Scholar
Simon, Stephanie. 2014. “Obama’s Power Play.” Politico, January 31.Google Scholar
Slevin, Colleen. 2010. “In Bold Move, Colorado Alters Tenure Reform Rules.” USA Today, June 13.Google Scholar
Smarick, Andy. 2009. AEI Education Stimulus Watch. Special Report 2. September. Available at: www.aei.org/paper/100044.
Sparks, Sarah. 2010. “Race to the Top Winners Face Data System Challenges.” Education Week, September 14.Google Scholar
Turque, Bill. 2010a. “DC Teachers Union Ratifies Contract, Basing Pay on Results Not Seniority.” Washington Post, June 3.Google Scholar
Turque, Bill. 2010b. “Rhee Dismisses 241 DC Teachers; Union Vows to Contest Firings.” Washington Post, July 24.Google Scholar
U.S. Department of Education. Race to the Top Program Guidance and Frequently Asked Questions. http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop/faq.pdf.
U.S. Department of Education. The Federal Role in Education. Accessed November 19, 2010. Available at: www2.ed.gov/about/overview/fed/role.html.
Viteritti, Joseph. 2012. “The Federal Role in School Reform: Obama’s race to the Top.” Notre Dame Law Review 87 (5): 2087–2122.Google Scholar
Washington Post. (2010, August 27). Race to the Top Itself Needs Some Reform.Google Scholar
Weisberg, Daniel, Susan Sexton, Jennifer Mulhern, and David Keeling. 2009. The Widget Effect: Our National Failure to Acknowledge and Act on Differences in Teacher Effectiveness. New York: New Teacher Project.Google Scholar
About the article
Patrick McGuinn is Associate Professor of Political Science and Education and Chair of the Political Science Department at Drew University. His first book, No Child Left Behind and the Transformation of Federal Education Policy, 1965–2005, (Kansas, 2006) was honored as a Choice outstanding academic title and he is also the editor (with Paul Manna) of Education Governance for the 21st Century: Overcoming the Structural Barriers to School Reform (Brookings Institution Press 2013).
Published Online: 2014-05-08
Published in Print: 2014-04-01
Was Race to the Top Authorized?” Education Week Politics K-12 blog, 6 May 2010.
“An Interview with Arne Duncan,” Education Week, 2 December 2009.
The notable exception here was in ending de jure segregation but this effort was pushed more by the courts than Congress and ED.
Sara Mead, “Competitive Grants Are Nothing New,” Sara Mead’s Policy Notebook, Education Week blog, 3 August 2010. http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/sarameads_policy_notebook/2010/08/competitive_grants_are_nothing_new.html.
Stimulus Watch, Special Report 2, September 2009.
The prominent role played by foundations and consultants in Race to the Top – and their impact on the outcome of the competition – is another cause for concern. The Gates Foundation, for example, provided $250,000 in financial support to 24 states (more than half of all RTT applicants) and nine of the twelve winners had Gates funding. And a variety of groups such as Wireless generation and Mass Insight advised states on how to craft winning applications. There are two separate problems here potentially. The first is that consultants might be able to “spin” state applications and presentations in ways that skew the results away from worthier states. The second issue is that the role of foundations and consultants – many of whom were involved in multiple state applications – may serve to create a kind of group think among states that reduces the amount of variation and innovation across state reform efforts.
Sam Dillon, “Education Grant Effort Faces Late Opposition,” New York Times, 19 January 2010.
Data from the U.S. Department of Education’s 2007–2008 Schools and Staffing Survey reveal that, on average, school districts dismiss or decline to renew only 2.1% of teachers (tenured and nontenured) for poor performance each year. See Patrick McGuinn, Ringing the Bell for K–12 Teacher Tenure Reform (Washington, DC: Center for American Progress, February 2010), available at www.americanprogress.org/issues/2010/02/teacher_tenure_reform.html (accessed November 19, 2010).
In 2009, Sandi Jacobs of the National Center for Teacher Quality reported that “no state has really done anything to ensure that tenure is meaningful.” (Personal correspondence with the author, August 12, 2009.)
Analysis conducted by the author in August 2010. This data is only meant to be illustrative.
Dana Goldstein, “The Education Wars,” The American Prospect, 23 March 2009. See also Richard Colvin, “Straddling the Democratic Divide,” Education Next 9, no. 2 (2009).