I had a conversation with the superintendents in my district last week, and we discussed the implications of getting on board the Race To The Top bus.
According to the superintendent, one requirement for even asking for funds awarded to the state if the state receives RTTT money is agreeing to a new evaluation system, a new rating system which could affect the make-up of schools, the beginning of the end for local collective bargaining, and more. And this is before even knowing if any additional money is provided to the district. Plus, the district and the local union would have to sign off on this together.
I asked how much money our state would likely receive.
The superintendent replied, “$250 million, but the state can take half of it and give the rest to education.”
I then asked how many school districts Washington has.
He replied, “about 300.”
This means that, if every district received an equal share, each district would receive $500,000. However, the bottom 5% would receive an extra share, and larger districts would receive a larger share. My superintendent and I figured we would receive maybe between $250,000 and $400,000. That won’t save a program and would be a miniature and temporary band-aid for any department.
A potentially complete restructure based on bad (or no) research with the hope of a pittance is not really a choice.