The Theatre of Education Reform


U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, announced Rhode Island’s acceptance into the first round of the federal government’s Race to the Top grant pool. States accepted in this round will be interviewed and the final decision for the distribution of monetary allocations for education reform in the amount of $4 billion, will be announced in April.
A description of the grant found on the U.S. Department of Education website, states, “Race to the Top winners will help trail-blaze effective reforms and provide examples for States and local school districts throughout the country to follow as they too are hard at work on reforms that can transform our schools for decades to come.” Trail-blaze? The whole town of Central Falls is on fire, and Rhode Island has positioned itself as a proponent of education reform.
The recent explosion in Central Falls, in which every single teacher was fired, laid the ground for reforms that give educators two options; fall in line or take a pink slip.
Subsequent to the firing, President Obama’s remarks on the event, while not explicitly, endorse the practice of making an example out of the Central Falls teachers. Read More.
At this point the education “reform” has shifted from practical suggestion to sink or swim. The example Rhode Island is setting of just how to fall in line appears more radical than necessary.
It comes as no surprise that Rhode Island is in this first round and it will come as no surprise if we do in fact receive the $20-75 million estimated upon the final acceptance of Rhode Island’s application. The final recipients of the grant will be announced on April 1, 2010.Read More

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