From the Eggplant:
U.S. Department of Education Orders Confiscation of All Teacher Plan Books
WASHINGTON, D. C.-In an effort to address both the waste and the lack of uniformity exhibited by public school teachers' use of individualized plan books, the U. S. Department of Education announced today a new policy prohibiting all teachers from access to individual plan books, a plan taking effect on January 15, 2010.
"After watching the messy, haphazard use of these planbooks when teachers are entrusted with autonomy, we can see that it is time to exercise a little Federal oversight," said Undersecretary for Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development Sallie Songster.
"Unlimited access to planbooks is not scientific," Songster continued. "It's unpredictible and unverifiable. To compete in the global economy, we have to be assured that every teacher is following the Common Core Standards in a timely and uniform manner." MORE
Over the Top: Winning Strategies for the Race to the Top Fund
by Yong Zhao
'November 16, 2009, from Yong Zhao blog Michigan State. Suggestion #1 is a brilliant take on what's happening, almost too close to Arne's dream to be a parody. Go to the site and read the comments, too.
I have been reading through the 775-page final notice document to be published in the Federal Register on November 18, 2009. It includes the final versions of application guidelines, selection criteria and priorities for the $4.35 billion Race to the Top Fund (RTT), the largest education grant in U.S. history.
I can guess from news reports, op-ed pieces, and blog posts that many states are working hard to prepare their applications. From my reading of the criteria, I think the following are the winning strategies and actions to include in the application, although they may be inconsistent with research findings or common sense.
Stop paying teachers and principals a salary. Instead pay teachers and principals on a per standardized test point basis each day. At the end of each school day, students should be tested using a standardized test, what a teacher and principal is paid is calculated at the end of the day based on the growth of the student, i.e., how much has the student improved over the previous day. This is true accountability and will for sure keep teachers and principals on their toes!