Blogs » According to K » Education reform: Sometimes you just have to laugh.


Last week, I tackled (or at least tried very hard to tackle) the downright complex world of education accountability, in particular the "No Child Left Behind" act.

Honestly, I could have filled your entire Monday paper with all the ways to dice that discussion. I spared you. You're welcome.

But in the spirit of due diligence, I wanted to touch on some relevant topics for those fellow weary souls trying to make sense of it all.

In today's article, Dwight Harris, local rep for the Texas Federation of Teachers, mentions his disagreement with how certain assessments tie teacher evaluations to student performance. An article in today's New York Times does a good job of explaining the nuances in teacher evaluations and some of the frustrations schools in other states are having with new federal education initiatives.

Which brings us to.... Race to the Top. Stay with me here...

Texas is one of four states that did not apply for a chunk of $4.35 billion up for grabs from the U.S. Department of Education's Race to the Top. The state had qualms with some of the requirements that came with getting a grant, like a common curriculum and teacher assessment rules -- which are the same reasons identified in my story today on why Texas has so far not applied for No Child Left Behind waivers.

A year before the Texas Legislature would cut $4 billion from the education budget, Governor Perry refused to fight for what could have been $700 million from the Race to the Top initiative.

"“We would be foolish and irresponsible to place our children’s future in the hands of unelected bureaucrats and special-interest groups thousands of miles away in Washington," Perry was quoted as saying in the New York Times.

Never mind that that's what George W. Bush did -- with a huge bipartisan support -- with No Child Left Behind.

But I digress...

Again, there are a lot of ways to dice the debate about education reform.

Now, if you've made it to the end of this blog, you certainly deserve a reward. So I give you a decidedly more fun attempt at looking into Race to the Top and No Child Left Behind.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan was on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" last week. Stewart, not surprisingly, gives Duncan a hard time on behalf of the comedian's mother, who's a teacher. So stop pulling your hair out, and sit back and enjoy!

Dare I ask... what do you think of Obama's education initiatives, like No Child Left Behind waivers and Race to the Top?

Should Texas follow the vast majority of other states on this new path toward educational achievement?