More (This Time Obvious) Correlations between Race to the Top and State Policies

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About one year ago I released a post titled “States on the VAMwagon Most Likely to Receive Race to the Top Funds” in which I wrote about the correlational analyses that reveal that state-level policies that rely at least in part on VAMs are indeed more common in states that (1) allocate less money than the national average for schooling, (2) allocate relatively less in terms of per pupil expenditures, (3) have more centralized governments, (4) are more highly populated and educate relatively larger populations of poor and racial and language minority students, and (5) have as state residents people who predominantly vote for the Republican Party and, related, Republican initiatives. All of these underlying correlations indeed explain why such policies are more popular, and accordingly adopted in certain states versus others.

Later, Mathematica released a News Brief (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences) titled “Alignment of State Teacher Evaluation Policies with Race to the Top Priorities.” Although Mathematica wrongfully claimed that they were “the first to present data on the extent to which states, both those that received Race to the Top grants and those that did not, reported requiring teacher evaluation policies aligned with Race to the Top priorities as of spring 2012.”

Beat ya to it, Mathematica, but whatever 😉

Anyhow, they found also (continuing from the list above) that states that won Race to the Top monies were states that (6) required more teacher evaluation and accountability policies, (7) used (or proposed to use) multiple measures to evaluate teacher performance, (8) used (or proposed to use) multiple rating categories to classify teacher effectiveness, (9) conducted (or proposed to conduct) teacher evaluations on an annual basis, and (10) used (or proposed to use) evaluation results to inform decisions regarding teacher compensation and career advancement. Go figure!

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