Political Cover in Practice
April 26, 2011 1 Comment
Now that we’ve moved from the uber-sexy competition for Race to the Top dollars to the just-as-important-but-optically-banal implementation phase, it’s harder to make salient reform points about the program.
Oh wait, what’s that Delaware?
In a warning to districts that want to backtrack on their Race to the Top promises, Education Secretary Arne Duncan is publicly supporting state officials in Delaware who plan to withhold $11 million from the Christina School District for reneging on school-turnaround plans.
Duncan’s statement issued this evening marks the first time he’s had to take sides as 12 states and their participating districts work to implement the $4 billion in Race to the Top awards.
From now on, whenever someone asks me what “political cover” looks like in practice, I will send them this article. Also, this is a great example of back-end accountability. As you all know, I maintain healthy skepticism with respect to accountability that looks at inputs instead of outcomes. Here you have a state chief holding folks accountable for implementation – not just promises – and that’s great.