Incentive peanut butter

I’m worried that Duncan (and George Miller) is facing increasing pressure to spread the $4.3B Incentive fund around like political peanut butter.  The skeptical side of me worries that it will be used to procure health care votes. 

There’s not much of a constituency for real change and few states that could actually make good use of the funds; my current short list:

·          FL: enough residual Bush leadership

·          RI: Mayoral Academies are a breakthrough for new schools

·          LA: Pastorek is the best and most aggressive state leader we have (interesting that he’s an outsider…)

·          CO: strong leadership in Denver and from Lt. Gov

Bubble states:

·          NY: maybe Klein can apply for the state

·          TX: lots of great charter development

·          GA: Bev Hall has been a steady hand in Atlanta and BAEO President Gerard Robinson is now leading the state charter board

I’ve probably missed one, making 8 states ripe for change.  There’s certainly not twice that many, but there will be increasing pressure to include three times that many in the Incentive fund.

Where have all the edu-Govs gone?

6/10: maybe Delaware is the missing 8th, see Business Week mention

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Tom Vander Ark

Tom Vander Ark is the CEO of Getting Smart. He has written or co-authored more than 50 books and papers including Getting Smart, Smart Cities, Smart Parents, Better Together, The Power of Place and Difference Making. He served as a public school superintendent and the first Executive Director of Education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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2 Comments

Tom Hoffman
6/9/2009

Yeah, thank god we finally are completely purging of all those Gates funded initiatives in Rhode Island and getting ready for some real change. Just wait until our first 75 mayoral academy students graduate in 2023. It is going to be reform-tastic.

Bernard
6/11/2009

He's really worrying about trade off for health-care votes?
Yeah, Tom. Let's be sure we don't provide millions of kids with adequate health care, Who knows what that will do to test scores?

Replies

Tom Vander Ark
6/12/2009

I'm all in favor of universal health care (my dad has spent 35 years fighting for it). The point is that Duncan is facing intense pressure to spread the Incentive fund around instead of concentrating it where important advances can be made. Having 6-8 states that achieve some important breakthroughs is more important than backfilling in complacent states.

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