WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The “Race to the Top” program extends the reach of the federal government too far into states’ public schools operations, a leading Republican senator said on Wednesday.
The Obama administration also risks neglecting poorer states by moving toward competitive education funding, Sen. Richard Shelby, the most powerful Republican on the Banking Committee, said at a hearing on education spending.
“I’m concerned that the scoring process for Race to the Top applications essentially mandates which interventions should be used by states and local school districts to improve student achievement,” Shelby said.
“The federal government, I believe, should give states the flexibility to implement critical reforms,” he added.
The pushback against school reform continues to pick up surprising allies. As Shelby expressed concern for the nation’s public schools, it’s clear that all republican aren’t on board with the privatization radicals. Race to the Top and the reauthorization of NCLB are joined at the hip. Congressional opposition to both NCLB and RttT could effect state’s like Florida where reform bills rely so heavily on both legislation’s guidelines.