1. Anderson, A. a., Aronson, B. a., Ellison, S. b., & Fairchild-Keyes, S. s. (2014). Pushing Up Against the Limit-Horizon of Educational Change: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Popular Education Reform Texts. Journal For Critical Education Policy Studies (JCEPS), 12(3), 338-370.



This article identifies the limitations of possible ideas a, ways of talking about education reform and schooling. The popular discourse of education reformers in the United States is assessed and presented in the text. Four policy speeches delivered by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in 2009 introducing the Race to the Top are shared. The article assesses that teachers are typically only empowered when negative outcomes are being referenced. There is a human deficit in education and the article asserts that in order to combat this viewpoint, teachers and students need to be ‘rehumanized.’This will only happen, if teachers and students are included in these federal policy changes; not their score reports and their state’s ranking.
Education in RI has a long ways to go. Although there have been many improvements, after the grant was acquired, many were not pleased with the way it was being put into effect. Teacher's in RI are still underpaid and not represented in a light that will assist them.



2. Harrison, E. (2014, September 16). Race to the Top Spending Winds Down. Retrieved December 7, 2015, from http://ripr.org/post/race-top-spending-winds-down



This article gives a very descriptive update as to how RI divvied up funds awarded through Race to the Top. Rhode Island is entering its final year in spending. 75 million dollars was awarded to the state, and in its final year less than 10 million remains. Most of the money from the grant paid for training over 6,000 educators in the Common Core Education standards. The Rhode Island Department of Education contracted with TNTP, formerly known as The New Teacher Project, to develop the system. Money from the grant also went to train 800 evaluators to conduct the evaluations. Another $6.5 million paid for personnel expenses involved those who were hired to manage the grant.
I was surprised that a lot of the money went to 'managing' the the project. There were many changes made on a federal level rather than a direct level. The effects of the grant money were not experienced beneficially in the classroom. Teachers received more involved training, however the impact on students was quite minimal.



3. Klein, A. (2015). GAO: More Help Needed for RTT Winners. Education Week, 34(28), 5.



This magazine article discussed the flaws in the follow-up of the allocation of funds from Race to the Top. The Race to the Top grant is unlikely to be included in the next federal education law. Critics believe that the Department of Education should have had way more responsibility to the states that were awarded money from the grant. The GAO found that the Department of Education did not provide enough technical assistance, resulting in problem with state proposals. Rural and Urban settings had the most difficulty in trying to implement changes with their grants. Sustaining the financial changes that were implemented, too proved challenging for these groups. District leaders in rural areas were more vocal than urban leaders when presented with these challenges. The GAO called for more individualized assistance, collaboration among grantees, professional development to state officials throughout the grant process, and help to grantees searching for contractors.

I found this article extremely important in considering how the funds were handled in RI. Although states had to sign contracts and submit proposals for their money, it does not mean that assistance was not warranted during the process.






4. Nese, J. j., Tindal, G. g., Stevens, J. s., & Elliott, S. s. (2015). The Influence of Multiple Administrations of a State Achievement Test on Passing Rates for Student Groups. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 23(69/70), 1-25.

This article discusses the consequences of large scale testing programs. In this system, ‘single testing administration’ is accountable for both students and learning education agencies. This testing does not significantly impact students on the proficiency margin; however, for their special education counterparts, this magnitude of testing has a negative impact. Programs such as No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top have students evaluated by various subgroups such as: gender, special education status, socio economic status, race, and English language proficiency, etc. There are certain state policies that allow certain subgroups to have multiple test opportunities. Through logistic regression analyses, it was determined that students in the following subgroups: White, non-free or reduced lunch program, non- limited English proficient, general education, and students close to the proficiency score, receive catered testing opportunities.

This disparity is seen in Rhode Island as well. Being in some of the classrooms in Central Falls and in Providence, it is evident that the white students, no matter what their social standing may be, are favored. It is quite overwhelming, and certainly disheartening. A child should not have to suffer because due to circumstance beyond their own control.


5. Supporting Race to the Top. (2012, August 12). The New York Times. Retrieved December 7, 2015, from http://www.ufn.gu.se/infoglueCalendar/digitalAssets/1770934628_BifogadFil_a race to the top.pdf

This article argues that the Obama administration’s Race to the Top initiative showed the success that competitive grant
Programs can have. The grant worked as a spur for innovation in education. 12 states were awarded the grant, and more than 30 reformed their education policies in hopes of receiving the grant. The article firmly argues that if education is a civil right; children in "winning" states should not be the only one who has an opportunity to learn, or to learn in high quality environment. This argument continues to state that this ‘antiquated and highly politicized frame’ is exactly what Civil Rights groups worked to eradicate in 1965. Implementing Race to the Top’s grant process highlights the concerns about an approach to education funding that relies to heavily on competition and not intrinsic motivation.

Race to the Top is not solely controversial on a policy level, but also on a humanitarian level. A great education system should be accessible to all, not solely the 13 states who were awarded the grant.












When Rhode Island received their funding, Comm