People of Northwest Public Radio
Our Northwest Economy
Wed May 19, 2010
Washington in Race for Educational Incentives
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Enough school districts have signed on, so Washington will submit an application for federal Race to the Top dollars. The governor made that announcement. All but 44 of Washington's 295 districts are on board. Race to the Top is President Obama's incentive program to spur education reform. The next question is whether Washington has a shot at winning the nationwide competition. Lisa Macfarlane is with the non-profit League of Education Voters. She says Washington started out a dark horse in the race.
Lisa Macfarlane: “I don't know how we're going to fare. And other states are making big moves and many of them started in a better place than we did. But I would argue that we have made huge moves for us and that they've been good and that it's absolutely worth it.”
The Washington legislature passed an education reform bill earlier this year to make the state more competitive. The new law allows the state to intervene in failing schools. It also creates a new teacher and principal evaluation system. If successful, Washington could win $250 million over four years. Oregon and Idaho have decided not to apply in this second round.
On the web: http://www.waracetothetop.org/