RttT: The Work Ahead

With only two winners (thanks for holding the bar high Arne), there are two different paths to resubmission:
1. Support. FL & LA clearly had the most aggressive plans but got dinged for lack of support.  They need a little Barb O’Brien (Lt. Gov CO) style barnstorming to build support.  But will the need to increase incentives or lower the bar to gain support?  I hope not.  Their plans deserve support
2. Plan. Other states need to get more aggressive–fewer promises and more progress.  I see a few special sessions coming to lift charter caps, enact new teacher evaluation frameworks, and crank up school accountability plans.
The bottom half of the list isn’t likely to do enough of either to win but will make some progress none the less.
RttT is already the most successful grant program in history.  Read more in my response to my skeptical friends (you know who you are) on National Journal today
RttT already produced more policy reform than any other grant program in history. The high bar maintained today will increase phase 2 results. I think the skeptics were proven wrong today.
The combination of the president’s strong stand on teacher effectiveness backed up by $4b have already changed conventional wisdom on teacher evaluation–quite suddenly there is national consensus on data-driven evaluation.
Additionally, RttT reinforced adoption of Common Core, improved charter laws, improved data plans–all before a dime was spent.

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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