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3 best reasons to refuse Race to the Top

May 26, 2010 am31 7:30 am

Instead of chasing Race to the Top, we should be refusing it. “We” meaning teachers and our unions. Massively. Everywhere. No one should be slicing and dicing their contract and their protections to “win” — because that way we lose. Think about how long we’ve resisted attempted predation on (fill in the blank). Are we really ready to concede overnight?

So Diane Ravitch has 10 top reasons to refuse RttT. Here, from teacher and teacher-union point of view, are the best 3:

  1. The money that states win cannot plug budget gaps, but must be applied to meeting the requirements of the Race.
  2. By raising the stakes for tests even higher, Race to the Top will predictably produce more teaching to bad tests, more narrowing of the curriculum, more cheating, and more gaming the system. If scores rise, it will be the illusion of progress, rather than better education. By ratcheting up the consequences of test scores, education will be corrupted and cheapened. There will be even less time for history, geography, civics, foreign languages, literature, and other important subjects.
  3. Many public schools will be closed down to comply with the demands of Race to the Top. These schools will be heavily concentrated in poor and minority communities, robbing them of their social capital. This will destabilize communities without any assurance that better schools will be created. Schools that enroll large numbers of low-performing students will be heedlessly closed, even if their staff is doing a good job in the face of difficult challenges.

The $ doesn’t fix any budget gaps.  RttT screws with teaching, encouraging more “teaching to the test,” and encouraging more bad tests. And the restructuring guidelines will destabilize poor and minority neighborhoods. But Ravitch said it in Ravitch’s words (see above).

One Comment leave one →
  1. canwetalk permalink
    May 26, 2010 pm31 7:23 pm 7:23 pm

    JD, Please see video where Diane Ravitch speaks about the disgrace across the nation behind the RttT and the testing mania that our students are being subjected to. Diane calls the destruction of public education as “academic apartheid”. Must see video.

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