The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which handpicked 15 states for $250,000 each in funding to help them prepare their Race to the Top Fund applications, is going to offer assistance to the remaining 35 states—if they meet eight education reform criteria.
The memo sent by Vicki Phillips outlining the criteria for the funds was sent to the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers.
These were the same two groups that Jan Brewer and former State Superintendent Tom Horne were participants. The two groups who the Obama Administration and Arne Duncan NEEDED to make the Common Core push appear to be "state-led."
The foundation's initial Chosen 15 were: Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas.
However, Texas never applied.
The Gates Foundation stated that "these states will be targets for further foundation investment provided they continue to follow through on these commitments."
These commitments include:
1. Has your state signed the MOA regarding the Common Core Standards currently being developed by NGA/CCSSO? [Answer must be “yes”]
2. Does your state plan to adopt the common core standards by June 2010 (as currently referenced in the draft RTT guidance)? [Answer must be “yes”]
3. Demonstrate how your state plans to adopt/prioritize the common core standards currently being developed by NGA/CCSSO? [Answers will be scrutinized to assess commitment and viability]
4. Does your state offer an alternative route(s) to teacher certification? [Answer must be “yes”]
5. Does your state grant teacher tenure in fewer than three years? [Answer must be “no” or the state should be able to demonstrate a plan to set a higher bar for tenure]
6. Does your state have policies or grant programs (e.g., TIF grant) in place that encourage the placement of the most effective teachers in schools with most disadvantaged kids (e.g.to campuses undergoing state/fed accountability intervention) [Answer must be “yes” or state must demonstrate commitment and/or plans to put policies in place]
7. Does state have at least six of the DQC’s 10 essential data elements? (Required six: unique student identifier, teacher-student link, student level enrollment data, graduation and dropout data.)
8. Does your state have policies that prohibit the linkage and/or usage of student achievement data in teacher evaluations?
You really CAN buy anything in this world with money.