Political Cover in Practice

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.

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One Response to Political Cover in Practice

  1. kilroysdelaware says:

    FYI the district super deviated from the PZ MOU without communicating with her board. The Super needs to get the PZ MOU amended by the yes union who agreed to the MOU. The one school in question Glasgow high school had a high school dropout rate of 9.3% in 2009-2009 and a 4.1% 2009-2010 that’s before RTTT.
    See page 13 http://www.doe.k12.de.us/reports_data/dropout/2010DropoutRpt.pdf Delaware’s overall high school dropout rate was 3.9% last year, the lowest in over 30 years.

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