Race to the Top

Race to the Top
















Race to the Top

  1. Are teachers the only party responsible for student achievements as presumed by the Race to the Top (RTT) Program?

The Race to the Top (RTT) program places the accomplishments of the students at the sole hands of the teachers. This is based on the measure it takes by reviewing the performance of the teacher in relation to the test scores of the student (Tanner, 2015). Even though teachers are regarded as agents of change within this context, is it still fair to place such a responsibility on teachers alone? After all, teachers are not the only parties involved in the education of students. Additionally, further research should focus on other entities that may be answerable in elucidating the success or lack of accomplishment of the student, including the student respectively.

  1. Does the Race to the Top program relate beneficially to social rights campaigned for by teacher unions?

Another critical area of study to consider involves the RTT’s impact on the social rights of teachers. Due to its restrictive implications on teachers, the respective program is viewed as a scheme that actually limits teachers from exercising their privileges as advocated by their respective unions. With the criteria for performance evaluation being test scores, teachers face the risk of succumbing to the pressures associated with ensuring that their students attain high-test scores (Ballou & Springer, 2015). In addition, threats of employment termination and slashes in salaries due to scores stages teachers as the main parties responsible for the academic welfare of students. Furthermore, the RTT program limits teachers from voicing their concerns on imperative matters of collective bargaining such as salary increments and continuity in employment (Ballou & Springer, 2015).

  1. Is it socially acceptable for schools to be closed or shut down because of test scores based on the prerequisites of the Race to the Top program?

The establishment of test scores as a decisive factor in the continuity of schools is an important matter for discourse. The RTT program asserts that schools that attain low scores over a continuous period will be closed or converted into charter institutions. However, this standard fails to note the possibility of other reasons that may lead to dismal performance in schools. Additionally, handing low-performing schools to private management or converting them into charter schools does not necessarily offset the situation (Tanner, 2015). Interestingly, charter schools do not attain better test results in comparison to general public schools (Price, 2014). Furthermore, privatizing such institutions only reveals a capitalist-based motive that does not resolve the problem at hand.

  1. Based on the provisions of the Race to the Top program, are test scores the only factors that can be used to measure the performance of the teaching fraternity and the schools in general?

One of the controversies associated with the RTT program concerns the incorporation of test scores as indicators of performance in public schools. The respective program places emphasis on student test scores. With this factor, the future of teachers and schools is determined based primarily on the grounds of academic performance. However, the RTT program ignores other external factors that may limit the student from displaying fair or exemplary performance (Tanner, 2015). This is based on its commitment towards the termination of imperative fraternity members such as principals and other members of the school staff.

  1. Is emphasis on test scores considerably important to the overall success of the student as implied by the Race to the Top program?

The RTT program establishes test scores as the main precursors of academic success for students and public schools alike (Ballou & Springer, 2015). Because of this, teachers are expected to face performance evaluation tests based on their students’ scores. Furthermore, test scores have the ability to determine whether teachers and other imperative members of the staff retain their occupations (Ballou & Springer, 2015). However, this emphasis on test scores completely limits the definition of success for the student.

  1. Will the private management of public or charter schools cause a long-term and upward shift of academic performance on the public student?

As asserted by the RTT program, public schools that continually illustrate dismal academic performance may be shut down or undergo conversion into privately managed charter schools (Price, 2014). Based on the respective scheme, handing over public schools to private management will cause a positive impact on academic performance (Price, 2014). However, the RTT program fails to answer as to whether these perceived increases in academic performance will be long-term.











Ballou, D., & Springer, M. G. (2015). Using student test scores to measure teacher performance: Some problems in the design and implementation of evaluation systems. Educational Researcher, 44(2), 77-86.

Price, T. A. (2014). Complexity and complicity: Quality(s) and/or effectiveness in teacher education. European Journal of Curriculum Studies, 1(2), 104-111.

Tanner, D. (2015). Sorry, President Obama, but high-stakes tests can’t cure cancer. Kappa Delta Pi Record, 51(1), 1-6.


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