Kansas: Keep your Race to yourself

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Kansas is not applying for Race to the Top funds, according to the Lawrence Journal World:

KANSAS BOARD DECIDES NOT TO APPLY FOR RTTT PHASE 2 FUNDS — In a 9-0 vote, the Kansas State Board of Education chose not to apply for up to $166 million in federal Race to the Top funds this spring because of some of the competition’s caveats. Interim Commissioner Diane DeBaker said the state fared poorly in the first round of applications because it does not have an alternative system for teacher certifications, no statewide system of evaluations for principals and teachers, and teacher pay is not tied to student performance. Board member Sally Cauble said Kansas’ system of local control works against it. According to board member David Dennis, not applying “sends a signal to Washington that we don’t want to play their game.”

More and more states are deciding to step off the President and Arne Duncan’s basketball court because they don’t like the rules of the game. If we must adopt the feds’ weak standards in order to win, well, that might look like winning, but it would be a horrible loss.