Schundler on NJ's Prospects for RTTT $

Ed Sec Schundler in an opinion piece in today's Asbury Park Press:
New Jersey will be submitting a second grant application for federal Race To The Top dollars. I would like to implore the NJEA to support the state's resubmission. The union's support will open the door to hundreds of millions of federal dollars flowing to our schools.

Our New Jersey schools need this money. Moreover, the Obama administration has signaled that, going forward, an increasingly large share of federal education dollars will be tied to the very same requirements. If the NJEA holds fast to its current position, not just hundreds of millions of dollars, but ultimately billions of federal education dollars, could end up going elsewhere.
Schundler explains that he wants to address teachers’ fears that the accountability requirements of RTTT – measuring instructor effectiveness in the classroom – will lead to unfair testing. He proceeds through a careful description of growth models and defends Obama’s insistence on measurement.

Will it matter? Will NJEA still advise its local units to refrain from signing the application, thus speedily dispatching any chance for NJ to partake of the federal education pot?

This next round of applications due in June is actually a wonderful opportunity for NJEA’s leadership to demonstrate to the public that it’s able to escape the bounds of obstructionism and show a little courage by trusting that its membership is fully capable of implementing inevitable instructional innovations. Does it really want to be in the position of freezing out pleas for salary adjustments followed quickly by sabotaging for a second time NJ's RTTT application? Talk about the party of "no."

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