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ERIC Number: EJ872386
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jan-6
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0277-4232
Two State Unions Balking at "Race to Top" Plans
Sawchuk, Stephen
Education Week, v29 n16 p1, 16 Jan 2010
Teachers' unions in at least two states are threatening to withhold endorsements of their states' Race to the Top applications, which could jeopardize the states' chances of winning the coveted federal dollars. In a letter printed as an advertisement in the Tallahassee Democrat, Florida Education Association President Andy J. Ford discouraged local union affiliates from signing an agreement to implement a state plan that, among other provisions, would require districts to base teacher evaluations and compensation bonuses heavily on student test scores. The president of Education Minnesota, Thomas A. Dooher, said he will also advise local affiliates not to sign off on the state application unless officials there agree to changes, including dropping a requirement that participating districts implement a pay program that has been voluntary for districts. The Race to the Top program, part of the economic-stimulus legislation passed last year, has been problematic for the national teachers' unions because of its heavy emphasis on using student test scores to measure teacher effectiveness. Now the action has moved to the state and local levels, as states prepare applications for the Jan. 19 deadline for the first round of funding. The $4 billion program is forcing states to engage in a delicate balancing act of aggressively pursuing the money while keeping support from state and local union affiliates. The Race to the Top initiative requires states to take action around four broad "assurances" in the stimulus legislation, including ensuring effective teachers in all classrooms. The largest percentage of points--138 out of 500--will be awarded to states that overhaul their teacher-quality systems, in part by evaluating teachers annually and tying the results to how teachers are compensated, granted tenure, and promoted. Under Minnesota's proposed application, districts participating in the Race to the Top would adopt the Q Comp program, a school-reform approach that includes professional development, annual teacher evaluations, a career-ladder initiative, and an alternative salary schedule based partly on student performance. The voluntary program allows local districts to bargain what percent of the pay component is based on measures of student growth.
Editorial Projects in Education. 6935 Arlington Road Suite 100, Bethesda, MD 20814-5233. Tel: 800-346-1834; Tel: 301-280-3100; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education; Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Florida; Minnesota