The story brought out a couple of issues that I would want to investigate more thoroughly if I were a journalist with an interest in education policy, or an education lawyer with some more free time.
- To what extent have states actually followed through with the promises they made to Washington in order to procure substantial Race To The Top (RTTT) funds? The article suggests that promises made by states in the grant writing process in order to obtain the funds were empty, and that states have not made good on those promises.
- How "beholden" is the presidency to the teachers' unions? If this were Fight Club, and we pitted teacher quality and merit-based pay against the teachers' unions and their campaign contributions, who would win? Is the president's discourse regarding implementing new mechanisms for judging and compensating teachers lip service and rhetoric, or does it reflect serious intentions to change the system?
- What would a completely privatized education system look like and what would that mean for the most unfortunate of students who are not accepted to any private institution?