Was Race to the Top ultimately extortion? UPDATE

Discuss.

UPDATE: Are folks afraid to speak about this?

Comments

  1. dunno if ‘extortion’ is the right word.

    “Extortion (also called blackmail, shakedown, outwresting, and exaction) is a criminal offence of unlawfully obtaining money, property, or services from a person, entity, or institution, through coercion… Making a threat of violence which refers to a requirement of a payment of money or property to halt future violence is sufficient to commit the offense.”

    I think it’s more like ‘bribery’ or ‘coercion’.

    “Coercion is the practice of forcing another party to act in an involuntary manner by use of threats or intimidation or some other form of pressure or force. In law, coercion is codified as the duress crime. Such actions are used as leverage, to force the victim to act in the desired way.

    “The ‘pressure’ used is not threat of punishment but (supposedly) hope of benefit.”

    The feds are saying “We’ll give you money if you do x,y,z”.

    The real question is, as the other poster said, why so many states & districts went along with it. In many cases I think the plants were already in place. If I understood the terms & consequences of RTTT (I don’t even work in education, though I did long ago), then you can’t tell me that the honchos who applied for it didn’t get it.

  2. Pineapple Hare says:

    Most definitely, yes. We are seeing this in NYState. Even the NCLB” waiver” is extortion. Our districts would have been much better of fwithout the blood money from Arne/Obama. I am a teacher in Buffalo and have seen first hand that the $$$ from RTTP does not go anywhere near the students. It goes toward data systems and administrators who are hired at the top pay scale to administer those data systems. It inflates the top layer of management and the data from the incessant data creation is ALWAYS used against teachers and to prop up the Reformy/privatization mantra that is supported and imposed by Arne/Obama. The current APPR scenario is a direct result, as you know. Our unions do not know how to articulate a response. Chaos at all levels. Even though our administrators demand even more and varied data, they do not have sufficient staff or intelligence to use the data or to even determine if the data is junk.
    Sad.
    Commissioner King is a tool and a puppet.

    • New York is all kinds of messed up, isn’t it? A big problem I have with RttT, one of many, is how willing districts and even educators are to eat it up. They must know that the Fed dangled some pretty small carrots to get the precise results they wanted, not based on research, but based on market-oriented ideologies.

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