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Media: RTTT Regs Reactions -- Who Does It Best? [updated]

320px-Right_pointing_double_angle_quotation_mark.svg Everyone's still making WAY too much of a big deal about Race To The Top, given its small size and limited likelihood of making a "moon shot" kind of difference.  Please.  But it sure helps pass the time.  So here's a roundup of the best reactions to the newly-released regulations (seriously, we're covering regulations now?).  Which story has the best quotes?  Who wins the coverage?  No points for predictable reacts from teachers unions, talking heads, etc.  Click below to see and learn. [Updated 2:24 pm]

The WSJ's writeup from Neil King is pretty lackluster though it does include this remark from Rick Hess voicing everyone reasonable person's concern about RTTT:

320px-Right_pointing_double_angle_quotation_mark.svg "What I am worried about is that states will promise a lot of half-hearted reforms that will then fail, giving ammunition to the unions who think they should never have been tried," said Hess

The NYT's Sam Dillon jumps out to a strong start with the rare Rahm Emanuel education quote:

320px-Right_pointing_double_angle_quotation_mark.svg“Even after all the comments, the rules are as comprehensive and demanding as before, they haven’t changed,” said Rahm Emanuel, Mr. Obama’s chief of staff, in an interview. “We’re seeking reforms, so we haven’t backed off anything.”

Extra points to Dillon for getting a quote from a real live person out there, you know, in the states:

320px-Right_pointing_double_angle_quotation_mark.svg“That’s exactly what we asked for,” NC Governor Bev Perdue said Wednesday. “We like charters in North Carolina, but we like other methods of innovation, too. So I can see that Secretary Duncan listened to us, and that’s phenomenal. I’m really pleased.”

Ed Week obviously spent the most time talking to people and comes in with some good quotes like this surprisingly candid assessment from RTTT honcho Joanne Weiss:

320px-Right_pointing_double_angle_quotation_mark.svg“It became clear that a lot of states were treating [the criteria] as a checklist. There was no big picture,” Ms. Weiss said. “Now this is where they build their case.”

EdWeek also scores a remark from Arne Duncan that reveals a certain amount of concern about whether RTTT is generating any real buy-in:

320px-Right_pointing_double_angle_quotation_mark.svg“This is not a governor’s plan, this is not a chief’s plan. We’re trying to reward systems, and systems are bigger than any one individual,” Mr. Duncan said in the interview. “You invest in the management team. This is not about investing in charismatic leaders.”

EdWeek also comes with the funniest crack from Fordham's Andy Smarick:

320px-Right_pointing_double_angle_quotation_mark.svg“If you don’t do national standards you lose 40 points, but if you’ve wasted $3 billion in stimulus money, you lose 5 points,” Mr. Smarick said, referring to the scoring rubric.

Serious demerits to the Washington Post's Nick Anderson for hyping the tired meme of how "unprecedented" RTTT is. 

Updated:  Jason Song at the LA Times gets this awfully jaunty (jerky?) quote about California's chances of getting any dough from USDE press guy Justin Hamilton:

320px-Right_pointing_double_angle_quotation_mark.svg"There's a difference between getting on an Olympic team and getting a gold medal," said Justin Hamilton, a Department of Education spokesman. "We're talking about getting gold medals."

Update 2:  AP's Libby Quaid got lost in the mix, but her story has a couple of decent reactions, too, including a tough-guy Arne Duncan on state test scores:

6a00e54f8c25c9883401287587629d970c-800wi "We've said `significant,'" he said. "We simply won't reward folks that do that. We mean what we say."

Ooh.  Scary.  And this quote from the Ed Trust's Amy Wilkins about what RTTT leaves out: 

6a00e54f8c25c9883401287587629d970c-800wi "They are ignoring those indicators that are within reach, that people have in their hands," she said. "They didn't give poor kids and kids of color access to strong teachers. When poor kids are taught by better teachers, they do much better."


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Psst. No one noted that the National Academy of Sciences has warned that each of the four "reforms" lacks any scientific/technical foundation.


"They are ignoring those indicators that are within reach, that people have in their hands," she said. "They didn't give poor kids and kids of color access to strong teachers. When poor kids are taught by better teachers, they do much better."

This really a disappointing thing to me, we should treat every student is same manner.

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Took me time to read all the comments, but I enjoyed the article.

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