As I write this, Phase II of the federal "Race to the Top" program is underway. The Swanton Board of Education will be discussing it at our April meeting, next Tuesday.
Some elements of compliance have been streamlined to encourage participation, but the bottom line remains: if you don't sign up to play, you won't get any money.
Can someone give me one example - just one - of a program where the Federal government stepped in and made things better? Anyone? Just one example will do - anyone? anyone???
Unfortunately the elements of holding to "international standards" of education remains in the Race to the Top program.
I'm sorry - the last time I looked, the United States of America was where we lived. The only stated "international standards" that may be found are from the United Nations - that paragon of integrity . . .
School districts in America were forced by the federal government to participate in Goals 2000 or else lose all federal money. Frankly, that didn't sound like a bad thing to me. If you don't take money from the feds, you aren't required to implement their mandates - another good thing. At each step of our federal government dipping their fingers into the educational mix, our scores as a nation have dropped. Coincidence?? I don't think so.
It has been shown over and over again that federal intrusion in our educational system has harmed it - and all for the sake of the almighty dollar.
I have been told that if we don't participate voluntarily, that we will be forced to do so down the line. That is probably a true statement - but it doesn't change the fact that the Race to the Top is a bad idea for education, and a bad idea for Swanton.