We are pleased to share with you information regarding a new US education initiative, billed as one of the “largest investments in education reform in American history.” President Obama set aside US$4.35 billion for public primary and secondary schools that are willing to make changes to raise the quality of education. The “the Race to the Top” fund will award grants on a competitive basis to states that 1) adopt learning standards set to international norms, 2) improve monitoring progress in student achievement, 3) reward effective teachers and improve or remove those who are not effective; and 4) make major changes to under-performing schools. States that prohibit linking teacher evaluations and pay to student achievement will not be allowed to compete for the new funds. States that make it difficult for teachers and principals to be certified outside traditional programs, and those that place caps on the number of charter schools will be at a disadvantage. By tying funding to specific reforms, the president seeks to reward states that are “ready to do what works.” Above are several links to coverage and analyses of the heralded announcement, as well as an opinion piece published in the Washington Post by US Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

Coverage

Analysis