May 26, 2010
"By structuring Race to the Top in the guise of a competition, Obama cleverly gets states on board with his formulas for school reform they would have otherwise resisted."
"Even if a state doesn't get a dollar of federal funding, the competition is making it easier to start new charter schools, subject teachers to private sector-style performance management, and force districts to fix their schools. It also forces states to begin addressing the single biggest threat to their fiscal solvency: the $600 billion in unfunded teachers' pensions and retirement obligations. Best of all, these steps cannot be easily overturned (unless the state wants to lose future federal funding). It also means that Obama isn't accused of imposing unfunded mandates on state and local governments even if, in essence, that's exactly what he is doing."