Georgia Still Trying To ‘Race To The Top’

A finalist once again.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced Tuesday that Georgia and 18 other states are finalists in Round 2 of the Race to the Top competition.

Duncan has said 10 to 15 states are likely to be selected in the next few weeks to share in $3.4 billion of Round 2 money. Georgia could potentially claim up to $400 million for education reform initiatives.

Winners will be announced in late August or early September.

Georgia was the third-highest scorer when 40 states and the District of Columbia participated earlier this year in Round 1 of the competition, which President Obama has said is meant to promote innovative education reforms that can be replicated across the country. But only two states were selected in March to receive the grants: Delaware ($100 million) and Tennessee ($500 million).

Thirty-six applications were submitted in this round, and officials in Georgia — though they were expecting to make it into the finals — were elated when the official word came down.


  1. They noted the state’s nationally rated charter school law, school-based “graduation coaches” and new “flexibility” contracts allowing local systems to free themselves from state mandates in exchange for school progress.

    … To be replaced with Federal mandates (historically, also a failure) if GA is awarded any money.

    Unless, of course, this program is a unigue, one of a kind federal program, that the money doesn’t come with all kinds of strings attached (now and future strings that haven’t been thought up yet, once the state becomes dependant on this sort of subsidy)…. I and others that actually care about our childrens education, still say; Thanks, but No Thanks! We want more choices not more mandates… more local control not more federal intervention.

  2. B Balz says:

    Gov. Perdue deserves credit for helping bring this about. I am going to give the benefit of doubt and ASSUME this is not an unfunded mandate.

  3. amor patriae says:

    Anyone who believes that this FEDERAL money will come with NO STRINGS ATTACHED probably also believes that the magician really can saw a live lady in half and turn scarves into flower bouquets. It’s all smoke and mirrors, friends. Any time a state accepts money from the Federal government, it must agree to play by the Fed rules.

    From the Race to the Top Fund website: “The Race to the Top Fund provides competitive grants to encourage and reward States that are creating the conditions for education innovation and reform.”

    Who are they kidding? The only “winners” will be those who build a program that carries forward the U.S. Department of Education’s flawed agenda. They are not looking for innovation, they’re looking to expand control, and to disguise a Federal funding program as a “contest” is disingenuous, to say the least.

    First of all, the U.S. Department of Education is unconstitutional. Therefore, any action that flows from that also is unconstitutional. The Dept of Ed’s greatest accomplishment to date has been to “dumb down” the education of our youth by establishing minimum standards that states must meet in order to get those Federal dollars.

    It’s a fact that communities with strong schools grow and thrive, while those without, die. We need to return the responsibility and authority for education to the individual states and let free market competition do its magic.

    • polisavvy says:

      You raised some very valid points. Excellent post. I couldn’t agree with you more about the links between strong schools and communities. At least the school system where I live was much stronger in the 60’s and 70’s when the community had a say. Now, according to the report last week, they failed the AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress). Very sad, indeed.

  4. Dave says:

    Race to the Top? Georgia schools? LOL! To quote our old buddy, John McEnroe, “You cannot be serious!!!” If you believe the state rankings over the last two generations and we certainly have been given no reason to doubt them, the collective IQ of all of this year’s grads is only slightly higher than that of a bag of peanuts! “Yes, I would like fries with that, thank you.”

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