For anyone who still believes they can ignore the federal race to the Top program and it will eventually go away, this New York Times article is a big wake up call.
Times reporter Sam Dillon gets the story straight from capitol insiders. When the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (also known as No Child Left behind) is reauthorized, it will closely follow the pattern set by R2T:
“They want to recast the law so that it is as close to Race to the Top as they can get it, making the money conditional on districts’ taking action to improve schools,” said Jack Jennings, president of the Center on Education Policy, who attended a recent meeting at which administration officials outlined their plans in broad strokes.
Like it or not, the new direction taken by the feds will include "value added data" - meaning that teachers and schools will be judged, at least in part, by the progress made by individual students during the school year.
Teachers and their unions have an opportunity to get involved and influence the directions taken by public education in the future. Ignoring this trend, however, is a one-way path to irrelevance.