By Barbara Jones, Los Angeles Daily News | http://bit.ly/1g4wnCP
9/11/13, 9:31 AM PDT :: Los Angeles Unified is finalizing its application for a $30 million Race to the Top grant after last year’s effort for a $40 million award was rejected by federal officials because the teachers union refused to endorse it.
Without discussion, the school board gave its OK Tuesday to apply for the U.S. Department of Education grant, which officials say is based on last year’s failed proposal.
According to a report to the board, the money would be used to improve the performance of middle school students, with a special focus on those on track to attend high schools with career-track “linked learning” programs.
Rules for the application say the grant money must benefit at least 20,000 students a day and that the district must used a teacher evaluation system that factors in student test data. It also requires the support of the teachers union.
United Teachers Los Angeles refused to sign off on last year’s application amid concerns that the grant would cost more to administer than it would bring in. The union and district were also in the midst of negotiating a new job evaluation, which has since been implemented, although the two sides remain at odds over some key issues.
UTLA President Warren Fletcher said he’d received a letter from Superintendent John Deasy, seeking the union’s feedback on drafts of the new application, which will be available this Friday and in late September. Fletcher said he wants to review the proposal before deciding whether or not to endorse it.
This is the second round of Race to the Top grants have will be available to individual districts. Previously, only states could apply for the highly competitive awards.
- The US Dept of Ed (Arne Duncan) granted LAUSD and the CORE school districts a unique waiver from NCLB – going around the State of California.
- The CA legislature, state superintendent and governor are going to return the meddling by cancelling standardized tests – the way of measuring ‘success’ of federally sponsored ®eform.
- The feds are now threatening withhold federal funds – why would they grant more?
- It is doubtful that UTLA will support this RttT application
Unless testing is reinstituted I don’t see a snowball’s chance in hell of this grant being granted.