More on N.J.’s Race To The Top Fracas

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Here’s a few more details from Davy’s meeting with the Senate Education Committee yesterday, when she was called on the carpet to explain why the DOE had decided to skip the January 19th deadline and risk losing N.J.’s shot at federal money to be distributed through the Race To The Top competition.

Of course, rug burns were averted when, according to today’s Record, “the Corzine administration reversed course” and said it would indeed apply for N.J.’s potential share, somewhere between $200 and $400 million. Davy says now that after Christie won the election, his transition team told her to stop working on the application. Christie’s team said they only told her to stop after it became clear that the DOE was unprepared to make “a thorough, successful pitch.” But now everyone’s friends, and Davy will hire a consultant to help the DOE complete the voluminous paperwork due in 6 weeks.

In explaining the decision to delay applying til the second round in June, Davy had said repeatedly that she had been assured by the Federal DOE that there was no downside to waiting. A spokesman said that while states that wait until Phase Two “won’t get left out in the cold,” there is an inherent advantage to applying in January because states that don’t make the cut will get feedback on how to emend their applications for the second round.

During the Monday meeting, Senator Shirley Turner asked Davy about her overall vision for education; Davy invoked the power of preschool education. From the Record: “Turner advised Davy to ‘talk with the incoming administration so we all understand where we’re going and how we’re going to get there… Too many of our kids are failing to graduate high school.’”

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