Will 'Race to the Top' Leave No Child Behind?

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George W. Bush proposed "No Child Left Behind" in 2001, and it passed with the support of many Democrats, most prominently the late Senator Edward Kennedy.  The idea was to set high standards and measure student performance with standardized tests so that teachers and schools could be held accountable. It's still the law, but many provisions have become controversial. Now the Obama Administration has created "Race to the Top." Instead of punishing failing schools, it sets up a $4.3 billion competition for schools to succeed. States are vying to establish charter schools and require standardized tests to evaluate student progress and teacher performance. Do those reforms really work? Will Race to the Top improve existing law or perpetuate its failings?



  • Peter Cunningham - Assistant Secretary for Communications, US Department of Education
  • Richard Rothstein - Research Associate, Economic Policy Institute
  • Gavin Payne - Chief Deputy, California State Superintendent of Education
  • David Hecker - Head, American Federation of Teachers's Michigan chapter


Warren Olney