It appears that we are in a great position to win a win a “Race to the Top” federal grant (assuming the legislature agrees to language about the use of the teacher identifier that allows schools, districts and the state to evaluate programs and teachers using student performance data).
This could be an incredible boost in helping Colorado build a world class public education system. But much depends on how we spend the money. And it could be a boat-load of cash. The national pool is $5 billion and I’m guessing it will be divided by 10-15 states. Given Colorado’s population, I’m guessing Colorado might receive $300,000,000 for two years of work.
The challenge, as Vice President Biden so clearly pointed out, is how to spend it so that it moves the needle as opposed to sending it down that proverbial “rathole” drain.
“I genuinely need your help to make this work because, folks, look at it this way. We’ve been given all the ammunition. If we shoot and miss, if we squander the opportunity, tell me how long you think it’s going to take for another American president to go and ask for more dollars to correct the education system,” Biden said to the Delaware State Education Association.
So what do you all think? How would you spend $150 million a year in Colorado? Remember it can only be used to start or change something, no ongoing funding. I’d like input from all of you but here’s my first draft shopping cart-
|State data accountability and evaluation systems||$30M|
|New school development (includes district, innovation and charter schools using the same criteria for school quality)||$100M|
|Development of online curriculum and high school courses with interested districts||$15M|
|Piloting a variety of new teacher and principal incentive programs with strong evaluations||$20M|
|Support for new teacher and principal pipeline development||$10M|
|Series of research projects about program and school impact — qualitative and quantitative||$5M|
|Helping other states with similar interests||$5M|
I’m having a hard time spending another $60M…how would all of you spend $300M?
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