The countries that out-teach us today will out-compete us tomorrow.
—President Barack Obama, Feb. 24, 2009
I received my DOE ARRA package of SFSF guidelines. For those new to the stimulus game, that is the Department of Education guidelines for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 as it applies to the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund. It makes for fascinating reading if only because it is very hard to see how Governor’s are going to suddenly, in two weeks, commit to the following:
“to advance essential education reforms to benefit students from early learning through post-secondary education, including: college- and career- ready standards and high-quality, valid and reliable assessments for all students; development and use of pre-K through post-secondary and career data systems; increasing teacher effectiveness and ensuring an equitable distribution of qualified teachers; and turning around the lowest-performing schools.”
It seems like a stretch to me. But governors can get 67% of their share of $48.6 billion of SFSF by applying to DOE and demonstrating a commitment to the above. The 33% will be distributed once the governors submit their plan to demonstrate the commitment above and those funds will be delivered starting July 1, 2009.
I imagine the teaching portion of those plans will look very similar to the plans the states had to submit to the DOE for reaching 100% highly qualified teachers. If you have ever read those plans, they basically repackaged exactly what the state was currently doing and said that those programs were now suddenly going to solve the problem.
My guess is that because the time frame is so short we will see exactly the same thing for these funds. The status quo will be reworded to show that it is now a reform that will create better results for students but in the end wont change a thing.
I could be wrong – but I seriously doubt it.
But just in case, I will make sure we contact the governors of ABCTE states to see if we can help them recruit more teachers for high needs schools.