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NCLB Outrages

What happened along the Race to the Top?

Here's how Illinois went from #5 in Round 1 to #15 in Round 2.

by Jim Broadway

Speaking of "reform," how could Illinois finish fifth in Round 1 of Race to the Top and then fall ten places to finish fifteenth in Round 2? -Who should be held accountable for failing to tap the feds for $400 million? In my view, all involved in the competition deserve praise.

School reform is a complex and inexact subject. Scoring was done by review teams who bring experience and expertise to the process -- but also bring unique backgrounds and attitudes and priorities. Training as a scorer does not change these factors.

In Round 1, Illinois enjoyed the favor of all the scorers except one. What our state proposed hit most of the right buttons. But we did not get to keep the same "team" for Round 2. We made changes that they suggested, but then another team reviewed our Round 2 plans.

Human judgment is subjective. The way around that is to eliminate subjectivity, to score the game with computers. Take the human factor out of RTTT, as largely has been done to education itself. It's also worth considering that it may be best just to avoid such games.

— Jim Broadway
State School News


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