Already the administration is being pressured to dilute [Race To The Top’s] requirement that states adopt performance pay for teachers and to weaken its support for charter schools. If the president does not remain firm on standards, the whole endeavor will be just another example of great rhetoric and poor reform.
Competition among the states is also vital to reform. The administration is resisting the temptation to award funds to as many states as possible. And that’s good. To be effective, Race to the Top funds cannot become a democratic handout. Competition brings out the best performance. That’s true in athletics and in business, and it’s true in education.
Harold Ford, Chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council, Louis Gerstner, former chairman of IBM and the Teaching Commission, and Eli Broad of the Broad Foundation in today’s Wall Street Journal.