We need to reward the reforms that are driven not by Washington, but by principals and teachers and parents. That’s how we’ll make progress in education–not from the top down, but from the bottom up.Could there be a more incoherent Presidential statement? We want to encourage communities to figure out what’s best for their kids, and if they agree with me that raising standardized test scores at any cost should be the sole goal of education, then I’ll show them the money! See, it’s bottom-up!
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The idea is simple: if states show that they’re serious about reform, we’ll show them the money.
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Our challenge now is to allow all fifty states to benefit from the success of Race to the Top. We need to promote reform that gets results while encouraging communities to figure out what’s best for their kids. That why it’s so important that Congress replace No Child Left Behind this year–so schools have that flexibility. Reform just can’t wait.
When it comes to No Child Left Behind, please: Don’t mend it. End it.
My thoughts on real “bottom-up” educational policy are here.