MD Flunks Race to Top


There is an unusual twist to the competition for federal education dollars
under President Obama’s “Race to the Top” funding program. While Democrats
in Annapolis like to crow about Maryland’s #1 ranking by Education Week
magazine, a different evaluation emerges when the state education system is
judged by the standards established under the Obama Administration.

How ironic that Maryland’s one-party monopoly failed miserably in the first
round of the federal competition administered by a Democrat presidential
administration.

The problem is – in Maryland, education policy is not about the children.
Instead, it is all about the teacher’s union and their stranglehold over
Democrat legislators in the General Assembly.

The Obama administration is modeling the future of 21st century education on
programs that work in Chicago and other innovative systems across the
nation. Public school systems that promote charter schools and reward
successful teachers with “pay for performance” are making great strides in
American’s urban centers. These systems also defer tenure for teachers so
that the motivation exists for continued teacher improvement early in one’s
career.

Unfortunately, legislators in Annapolis at the direction of union leaders
have reject these reforms in Maryland. When Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr.,
proposed model legislation for charter schools during his administration,
the bill was stripped down to a bare framework that required union control
of teachers in any charter school in Maryland.

How ironic that Maryland’s application today for highly-sought dollars from
the Obama Adminstration would have been enhanced by passage of the charter
schools bill championed by Governor Ehrlich!

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