The news is out, Wisconsin was not among the finalists in the Race to the Top bribery to deform education con game. Here is the list from EdWeek:
Colorado, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
Most of the also rans, including Wisconsin, rushed through ill-conceived and ill-considered policy changes but didn’t get a sweepstakes ticket for the possibility of splitting the pot (the “winners” only won a chance at a payday). Unfortunately, there is always round two, which makes this a “long con.” Arne Duncan is quite the grifter.
As we’ve come to expect from him, Wisconsin’s lame (duck) Governor Jim Doyle has issued a misleading statement that seeks to avoid responsibility by blaming others.
“The train is leaving the station. But because the Milwaukee School Board continues to cling to the status quo – and because the State Legislature has so far failed to make real reforms – Wisconsin is not on that train,” Governor Doyle said. “Today’s announcement should be a wake up call to many. U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan has made it clear. The federal government will provide significant resources to states that are serious about reform. Milwaukee needs clear, consistent, accountable leadership focused on reform.”
Last I checked the legislature enacted laws that met all the criteria. Last I checked, neither the Milwaukee School Board nor the legislature prepared the application (that was done out of Doyle’s office in near secrecy, with school districts and others given only the choice to sign on or not and only given that choice at the last minute). Last I checked — despite the implication in Doyle’s statement — mayoral control was not among the criteria by which the applications were judged (unless of course the fix was in).
Thomas J. Mertz