AIE Blog

News and notes on innovations and education reform in Louisiana.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Race to the Top and the Capacity to Innovate

Louisiana is uniquely positioned to take advantage of the Department of Education's Race to the Top (RttT) fund which will provide billions of dollars in funding to states that have shown the capacity to innovate and the commitment to transform failing schools. However, it is a competitive process and every state can apply.

The states are jumping into the competition with both feet as waves of reform take shape. Last week, the Wisconsin legislature removed a prohibition against using student test data to evaluate teachers. This barrier would have made Wisconsin ineligible for RttT funding. They voted for a requirement to create a system to track students from pre-school through post-secondary education.

Our State Superintendent Paul Pastorek is a leader in the national education reform movement and we are fortunate to have his guidance in our state. Working with the legislature, Louisiana removed the caps on the number of charters our state may have. Pastorek's efforts rely on INNOVATION and are helping to turn around student achievement. Thanks to his leadership, our state will undoubtedly submit one of the strongest RttT applications.

Local superintendents are now lining up to find schools that can receive the RttT funding and begin to mae the sweeping changes needed. Another opportunity for local sup's is to approve innovative charter school applications that are on their desks right now.

Don't think that DC grant readers will overlook it if innovative charters are shelved by the same superintendents who want RttT grant funding.

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