Will Race To The Top Infighting Reach IL?


The Wall Street Journal  (Unions,

States Clash in Race to Top) reports that infighting between teachers unions and state officials has spread in states like Indiana, Ohio, and Colorado that are hoping to win RTTT funding.  Indiana has actually withdrawn its RTTT application, and the teachers union in CO has recanted its support for the state plan.  Could anything like that happen here?  Or is union-state cooperation not required for a RTTT win?  Or -- this might be the real point -- does RTTT not really matter when the budgets look so bad?


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  • Chicago, CPS, Unions, will never have that problem with The Race to the Top program because we will never qualify. As the article said, it aims to reward states that are promoting charter schools and tying teacher pay to student performance. The charter schools here are staring to crumble already and the union will never agree to a perfromance raise. It's sad watching the other states fight over money that will eventually be sucked up by politicians and school officials.

  • I doubt it. Just look at the Olympic bid. We made it all the way to Coppenhagen only to be knocked out in the first round. And besides, the charter schools here are slowly crumbling. When did Quinn sign the performance bill?? When will the bill be enforced? We ranked 5th in the RTTT proposal because of the Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan. And please don't say that's a coincidence. It's the Chicago way.

  • In reply to SickandTired:

    "SickandTired" is woefully misinformed.

    The Performance Evaluation Reform Act of 2010 was signed into law earlier this spring to improve Illinois' chances in the RTTT competition.

    The current CPS-CTU Agreement expires in 2012, and by law, the next agreement must contain provision for a teacher evaluation system where student performance counts for half the rating. Half (300) of CPS schools must implement the new evaluation system in 2012-13, and the remaining schools must do so the following year.

    The fact that Illinois was 5th in the first round indicates that they are close to "winning" RTTT in a subsequent round.

  • In reply to Danaidh:

    Danny, thanks for the update. Illinois was 5th because of Arne Duncan. If we get any RTTT money it's because he owes someone a favor.

  • In reply to SickandTired:

    It isn't infighting when politicians attempt to impose illogical and ill-conceived "reforms" on the teachers and students of this country. It isn't negotiation when non-educators and special interests create these "reforms" and demand that local teacher's unions sign off on it. The threat to our livelihood and the future of public education is very real. Caving in does not protect our rights and does not protect our students. Only a united union can do that.

    Joe from CORE

  • So, now that this tie between pay and performance is headed towards reality, how long before 90% of the schools in Chicago lose each and every teacher? You can replace the teachers, but if the students and their families don't change anything about their behavior or habits, each year, they will have new teachers when their old teachers are fired for "failing". Only about 10% of CPS has a wealthy enough, educated enough and or motivated enough student base to truly succeed. Must be nice to be a teacher in one of those schools.

  • In reply to teacherparent:

    I believe the student performance is tied to student growth, not student raw scores. So if the teacher gets a student reading at 2nd grade level in the 5th grade and advances them to 4th grade reading by the end of the year, that would be a good thing for the teacher (and the student) even though the student is still not proficient.

    I question how to deal with the issue of a student who is reading at 4th grade reading level in high school though. Whose responsibility is that? The history teacher? The science teacher? All subjects will be impacted.

  • In reply to teacherparent:

    interesting to note that the state of CA is pursuing a different RTTT round two strategy -- having individual districts apply directly instead of doing a statewide thing:


  • In reply to teacherparent:

    former USDE official russ whitehurst (john easton's predecessory) notes that there's a big mismatch between RTTT and the underlying ARRA statute upon which was ostensibly written.


    clearly, congress gave obama and duncan a pass on RTTT --but making that something annual or ongoing won't be so easy.

  • In reply to teacherparent:

    and vermont is bowing out of competing for now, which might not be a bad thing to consider


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