IN says no thanks to RttT

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So I guess Arne Duncan’s “pretty please” letter to the Governors did not do the trick. After Kansas pulled out of the running for Race to the Top, now it is Indiana’s turn. This from the Indiana DOE:

Indiana Department of Education: IDOE Halts Race to the Top Efforts, Focuses on Implementing Reform Plans

Thursday, April 22, 2010
Media Contact:
Kim Preston

Yesterday, the Indiana State Teachers Association declined an invitation (letter attached) to meet and further discuss union support for vital components of the state’s Race to the Top (RttT) application that are the foundation for Indiana’s student-focused reform agenda. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Tony Bennett issued this statement in response:

“I received notice yesterday that the Indiana State Teachers Association is unwilling to join me for an open and transparent discussion regarding union support for vital components of Indiana’s Race to the Top application. Without support from the union that represents more than 90 percent of Indiana’s school districts, our application will not be competitively positioned. Therefore, Indiana will not apply for Phase 2 funding.

“Instead, just as today’s students have no time to waste, IDOE will waste no time as we continue our efforts to implement Indiana’s Fast Forward plan without the federal funding. I am hopeful the unions will work with us throughout the implementation process, and I promise to make sure discussions between IDOE and the unions are transparent to all stakeholders.”

Time to rethink the whimsical elements of RttT, such as union buy-in, turnarounds and adoption of national standards which aren’t even completed? Duncan doesn’t seem infected by hubris when he is out on the husting – so I guess there is still “hope”…