Yesterday, Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced the 10 winners of the latest "Race to the Top" contest.  All of the winners, the two from March, and the 10 yesterday lie east of the Mississippi River, except Hawaii.  Conventional wisdom suggests that the competition was skewed toward dense states with large cities.  Some of the reform ideas suggested by states like New York and Florida are only possible in larger environments.  How can a district start a competing charter school when there is only one school?  How can you fire administrators when you cannot replace them because of the remoteness of your district?  I don't know if any of this wisdom is accurate or not, but the West, collectively, will not share in any of the 3.4 billion dollars awarded in the last two rounds of competition.


My concern is that the impetus behind the adoption of the Common Core Standards will dissipate in the face of this disappointing defeat.  There also will be little or no money for professional development to help roll out these new standards.  The over-all loss of 'Race to the Top' funds includes the loss of just the funding necessary to implement the vision of these new standards.  


I am going to do whatever I can to keep the discussion of these standards alive during this period of severe budget deficits.  I will use this blog and my website: www.readfirst.net, where I post long-form articles, to keep alive this important discussion.  

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