“Race To The Top” A Relay With No Contestants?

Maureen Downey in the AJC’s “Get Schooled” Blog brings word that Kathy Cox’s Chief Of Staff will be taking a D.C. based job as well. This leaves the the top two department postions open while trying to entice the Feds to make it rain with “race to the top” cash:

Now, Georgia Department of Education Chief of Staff Stephen Pruitt today announced he will be leaving his position effective July 5 to become the director of science for Achieve, which is also based in Washington.

(With her former spokesman Dana Tofig in nearby Maryland, Cox may have her own Georgia brain trust. There could be monthly coffee sessions in the Georgetown Starbucks.)

While I wish all of these folks well and think that Washington would be an exciting place to live, I am curious what this does to Georgia’s chances for a Race to the Top grant, as both Cox and Pruitt were critical components along with the governor, who leaves office this year.

Will the feds take a chance on a whole new cast of education leaders, leaders who won’t be determined until after the November election? The grants will be awarded around September, meaning the US DOE has to gamble that it can count on the new leadership of the state DOE and the new governor

My understand from a few folks close to the situation is that the Governor is taking the “race to the top” application very seriously, and hopes to have some news soon regarding his replacement for Kathy Cox and some direction for GA DOE.


  1. John Konop says:

    Can we not just have a race to the basics? Why not allow students to track toward their aptitude instead of the failed teach to the test, one size fit all college bound and your out system promoted by Kathy Cox and company? Have we not figured out yet that the No Child Left Behind left everyone behind?

    But hey Kathy Cox and company will make big bucks selling us more failed gimmicks for cash paid by all of us!

  2. benevolus says:

    I’m not so sure our chances for a grant were better with them there than they are with nobody there.

    • Mozart says:

      Hey, maybe let’s wait until we possibly get someone elected Governor who wouldn’t be qualified herself to be a teacher in this state to be in charge of the “race to the top” program.

  3. hugoblacksupreme says:

    Just another example of how the Gov. has screwed the state. He should have ask (begged) Kathy to stay untill the we got some of the Feds money. We were extremely close last time. Instead he does not make an appointment to shore up our leadership metrix in the RTTT scoring and we will most likely pay the price.

    I don’t care if you agree or disagree with the way the program is laid out, WE NEED THE MONEY!

    • NorthGeorgiaGirl says:

      I don’t know if you realize this, but the money will not really help anything. The money, around $400 million, amounts to about 1% of our total education budget. About half of that will go to administrative costs and implementation of the databases at the DOE. The rest of it will be spread out over between 17 and 23 school systems in the state, I believe over 4 years. Once we take the money, we have to do everything they tell us to do, including adopting the national common core standards.

      This is nothing more than an attempt to have more federal control over what is a state issue, using the all too common carrot of “needed” federal dollars.

      Don’t believe the hype. This is about national outcome based education and the federal tracking of all teachers and students. Read the proposal…all 200 pages of it. I have to ask, why did Texas decide not to apply? Most likely because they don’t want the nonsense that comes with it.

      • benevolus says:

        “why did Texas decide not to apply?”
        Ooh, ooh, me me!! Because they want to ban teaching evolution and promote the KKK?

  4. Three Jack says:

    an education company that hires kathy cox to improve schools is equivalent to the falcons hiring marion campbell as head coach (again) because he can’t be that bad, really.

    how is it that even the sorriest bureaucrats alway find a way to get another government funded job no matter how ludicrous it seems to those previously effected by said bureaucrat?

    • benevolus says:

      “government funded job”? It’s a non-profit, and I suppose they will be applying for grants, but right now it’s supported by corporate donations, not the government.

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