from The Educated Guess by John Festerwald
August 26th, 2010 - The five unidentified reviewers of California’s Race to the Top application generally praised the district-led approach that California took and expressed optimism that ceding control to districts committed to reform could succeed.
But what stopped them, with one exception, from giving the state winning marks were three areas that participating superintendents and state officials figured would be problematic: lack of union support for the application; a troubled statewide data system that lags behind other states; and uncertainty whether the state could deliver commitments to create more effective teachers and principals.
The U.S. Department of Education released the scores and evaluations of states in the second round of Race to the Top on Wednesday. It showed that especially in California, the numbers were all over the place. You’d have thought that two of the reviewers had read different applications.