Zais on Federal “Race to the Top”

Zais says South Carolina won’t participate in new round of Race to the Top program
State Superintendent of Education Mick Zais said today that South Carolina would not participate in a new round of the federal Race to the Top program that was announced by the U.S. Department of Education.

“The Race to the Top program expands the federal role in education by offering pieces of silver in exchange for strings attached to Washington,” Zais said. “More federal money for education will not solve our problems. Schools need less, not more, federal intrusion to increase student achievement. The previous two rounds of Race to the Top were not competitive grant programs; they were top-down directives forcing states to adopt programs favored by Washington. Respectfully, South Carolina will not apply for this money.

“I urge President Obama and Secretary Duncan to spend their time supporting efforts to reduce the role of the federal government in education by working with Congress to pass an Elementary and Secondary Education Act that decentralizes education policy. States and schools need flexibility, not more federal mandates, to meet the academic needs of students, empower parents with more choices, and reward excellent teachers for their success in the classroom.”