Thank you for the article and your input. We are proceeding with great caution on Race to the Top. I was in Gainesville on Sunday meeting with Superintendents regarding this issue and I will continue to exam the pros and cons of this tremendous education reform initiative. The pro is of course the financial assistance for struggling schools, standards and assessment, STEM, closing the gap, professional development, and data systems. The cons relate to additional work to complete the application and implement if funded.
I have continued to ask and have been told by our Commissioner of Education that districts will have flexibility in implementation. There are some strings attached but most of these strings are related to research based initiatives that have shown an increase in student performance across all ability levels and subgroups of students.
America must return to its place of prominence in education because our children are competing with students globally and as a nation we must remain strong economically with students prepared for the future in math, science, writing, reading, and technology. It will take some significant reform to get America where it needs to be.
We cannot do what we have always done and expect our dropout rate to decrease and our performance to increase. This article spoke of charter schools and alternatively certified teachers. Those are not issues in our district because we do not have many of either. I promise to continue to investigate how this will affect Okaloosa County Schools before we make any long term commitments.
Thanks again for your input and I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Keep me posted.