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Handicapping Obama's Race to the Top

As 2009 transitioned into 2010, we spent a lot of time on this blog discussing the Obama administration's Race to the Top...


As 2009 transitioned into 2010, we spent a lot of time on this blog discussing the Obama administration's Race to the Top program: The rules that states needed to follow to be eligible for a slice of the $4 billion pie, which states were making sweeping changes to get in on the action, which states weren't moving quickly enough, and ultimately what this sum of money would payout per student (less than 100 bucks, it turns out).

Well, it's been more than a month since the deadline for applications, and, over at City Journal, Thomas W. Carroll, president of the Foundation for Education Reform and Accountability, has made his predictions for which states are most likely to see a federal influx of funds.

The verdict: A lot of that cash is going south. Carroll singles out Florida, Tennessee, and Louisiana as having the strongest applications in the field. His next tier of states, which he deems "competitive," is made up of: Colorado, Georgia, Delaware, and Michigan.
Florida, Louisiana, and Tennessee clearly deserve a Round One victory. A strong case can be made as well for Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, and perhaps Michigan. In total, awards to these seven states would allocate almost half of the $4 billion in Race to the Top dollars, leaving about $2 billion unspent ...

The feds have not indicated how many states might be selected, but Secretary of Education secretary Arne Duncan has hinted that there won't be many. ... Regardless of which states end up winning funding, Race to the Top has already altered the national conversation on education and prompted a wave of reforms from coast to coast. That itself counts as a big win.

Photo (cc) by Flickr user Scott Ableman.

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