George Lucas Educational Foundation

Dept. of Ed.: Race to the Top applications could take 681 hours

Dept. of Ed.: Race to the Top applications could take 681 hours

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Anyone read this recent article in the New York Times, "Extra Homework Applying for Education Grants?"

Here's a snippet:
WASHINGTON — The Department of Education, preparing to dole out hundreds of millions of dollars to winning states in a $4 billion grant competition, has estimated how long it should take each state to prepare its grant proposal: 681 hours.

Not 680, not 700, but 681 hours.

“Nice round number — how’d they come up with that one?” said Lee Sensenbrenner, chief of staff to Gov. James E. Doyle of Wisconsin.

The thousands of state officials who are working feverishly to prepare proposals are not only stunned by the precision of the estimate, but many of them also say it grossly underestimates the amount of work they have to do. Read more >>

Thoughts? Reactions?

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Bill Powell's picture
Bill Powell
Retired Supt; 33 years in public ed; lives in Colorado mountains w/ family


Thanks for pointing out the article. It is embarrassing to educators to be treated in such a servile manner in the completion of a Federal application --- 681 hours, 15 minutes, 27 seconds (or whatever) ..... But, what is even more embarrassing is the race to the money (read 'cheese') in the Skinner mouse trap is done to shift even more LOCAL control over Americal's 15,000 school districts to think-tank beanie-headed bureaucrates in Washington DC. Let's improve our local neighborhood schools, but not along the pathway advocated in Race to the Money. Let's not continue narrowing the curriculum. We need teachers and students who find joy coming to school; who find creative energy in teaching and learning; who have innovative ideas about what exciting prospects lie ahead in the 21st Century. High stakes testing will not get us there. Re-assigning prinicpals and teachers from Washington DC will not get us there. Let each local community decide what it wants for its own children.

Bill Powell

Bill Powell's picture
Bill Powell
Retired Supt; 33 years in public ed; lives in Colorado mountains w/ family

Thanks for reading and supporting this blog. The arts are critical to the development of a well-rounded student. We need students who are good citizens, good workers, good human beings. We do NOT need flat students in a flat world who are just good at taking high stakes tests. We need to touch the head, heart, hands, and minds of each student as he/she heads into the 21st Century. We hear that China and India are so far ahead of America in educating students. Ironically multi-national corporations located in China or India REJECT more than 90% of the college graduates from China or India because their college graduates are not well-rounded, according to Yong Zhao in his book "Catching Up or Leading the Way." We need students who are well-rounded in many areas, not just narrowly targeted to master high stakes tests in one or two subject areas.
Bill Powell

Becky's picture
Gifted Education Specialist

Arts education isn't only for creating more well-rounded scientists and accountants but also to creat artists. The arts are not just a tool for STEM.

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