A New Year: Race to the Flop, Big boy

“(Big boy) I said excuse me miss I only wanna buy shoes
(Big boy) she said I love you Murph especially in the white in blue
(Big boy) I said the white in blue sound nice make it twice
(Big boy) and I signed an (yo) autograph
(yo) “thanks for the advice” (big boy)”

–Air Force Ones, songwriters: Harper, Tohri Murphy Lee; Cleveland, Robert Ky Juan; Haynes, Cornell; Jones, Ali Kenyatta; St., Lunatics

Like the guy says: get some Air Force Ones and some ketchup for that curly fried hair of yours. Even our sneakers have to go to war? ‘Cause that is about where we are this week on numbers, budget and moral.


U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced today that 10 applicants have won grants in the second phase of the Race to the Top competition. Along with Phase 1 winners Delaware and Tennessee, 11 states and the District of Columbia have now been awarded money in the Obama Administration’s groundbreaking education reform program that will directly impact 13.6 million students, and 980,000 teachers in 25,000 schools.

The 10 winning Phase 2 applications in alphabetical order are: the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, and Rhode Island.

“These states show what is possible when adults come together to do the right thing for children,” said Secretary Arne Duncan. “Every state that applied showed a tremendous amount of leadership and a bold commitment to education reform. The creativity and innovation in each of these applications is breathtaking,” Duncan continued. “We set a high bar and these states met the challenge.”

[Like the guy says: Yo look, we got shoes $100 a pair and you get the second pair for $100.]

While peer reviewers rated these 10 as having the highest scoring plans, very few points separated them from the remaining applications. The deciding factor on the number of winners selected hinged on both the quality of the applications and the funds available.

“We had many more competitive applications than money to fund them in this round,” Duncan said. “We’re very hopeful there will be a Phase 3 of Race to the Top and have requested $1.35 billion dollars in next year’s budget. In the meantime, we will partner with each and every state that applied to help them find ways to carry out the bold reforms they’ve proposed in their applications.”

A total of 46 states and the District of Columbia put together comprehensive education reform plans to apply for Race to the Top in Phases 1 and 2. Over the course of the Race to the Top competition, 35 states and the District of Columbia have adopted rigorous common, college- and career-ready standards in reading and math, and 34 states have changed laws or policies to improve education.

Every state that applied has already done the hard work of collaboratively creating a comprehensive education reform agenda. In the coming months, the Department plans to bring all States together to help ensure the success of their work implementing reforms around college- and career-ready standards, data systems, great teachers and leaders, and school turnarounds.

In addition to the reforms supported by Race to the Top, the Department has made unprecedented resources available through reform programs like the Investing in Innovation Fund, the Teacher Incentive Fund, and the School Improvement Grants under Title I.

Through all of these programs, the Department of Education will be distributing almost $10 billion to support reform in states and local communities.

“As we look at the last 18 months, it is absolutely stunning to see how much change has happened at the state and local levels, unleashed in part by these incentive programs,” Duncan said.

As with any federal grant program, budgets will be finalized after discussions between the grantees and the Department, and the money will be distributed over time as the grantees meet established benchmarks.

The $4.35 billion Race to the Top Fund is an unprecedented federal investment in reform. The program includes $4 billion for statewide reform grants and $350 million to support states working together to improve the quality of their assessments, which the Department plans to award in September. The Race to the Top state competition is designed to reward states that are leading the way in comprehensive, coherent, statewide education reform across four key areas:

  • Adopting standards and assessments that prepare students to succeed in college and the workplace;
  • Building data systems that measure student growth and success, and inform teachers and principals how to improve instruction;
  • Recruiting, developing, rewarding, and retaining effective teachers and principals, especially where they are needed most; and
  • Turning around their lowest-performing schools.

The 10 winning applicants have adopted rigorous common, college- and career-ready standards in reading and math, created pipelines and incentives to put the most effective teachers in high-need schools, and all have alternative pathways to teacher and principal certification.

In the first round of competition supporting state-based reforms, Delaware and Tennessee won grants based on their comprehensive plans to reform their schools and the statewide support for those plans.

The Department of Education has posted all Phase 2 applications online. Phase 2 peer reviewers’ comments, and scores will be available on the website by August 25th; videos of states’ presentations will be posted by September 10th. Phase 1 materials are available online

-Nine States and the District of Columbia Win Second Round Race to the Top Grants http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/nine-states-and-district-columbia-win-second-round-race-top-grants

Talking about some ketchup for that curly fried hair, I love Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky):

“Our national debt is now the size of our economy,” McConnell said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “We’re begining to look a lot like Greece … this is the time to get serious.”

-Bridget Johnson, http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/147683-mcconnell-lashes-out-at-white-house-on-budget-deal-wheres-the-leadership

Hell—oo!!! Where were you when your party controlled all three branches of government (I include the Supreme Court) for 6 out of Bush’s eight years of tenure. Get serious, Mitch, get you some Air Force Ones. I love you Mitch in the white on blue.

Get me two pair, I need two p’ir. –One for me, the other for one of the Koch Brothers.


And speaking of more bullshit:

The completion of the relief well operation in the Gulf of Mexico was an important milestone in our continued efforts to restore the Gulf Coast. However our work is not finished. BP remains committed to remedying the harm that the spill caused to the Gulf of Mexico, the Gulf Coast environment, and to the livelihoods of the people across the region”

-BP, http://www.bp.com/extendedsectiongenericarticle.do?categoryId=40&contentId=7061813&nicam=2011BPCorporateQ1DCGOM&nisrc=The%20Hil&nigrp=TheHill_HP&PrimaryNewsV2_728x90_Renter-Video30_EW&nictr=BP_RenterVideo&niadv=728×90


Get me two pair, I need two p’ir. –One for me, the other for one of Vevo, who brings us this video:


I need two p’ir. –One for me, the other for one for people of France, I just got back from Paris and you can’t believe that a war is going on with Libya, except for the real bullshit on TV. Mostly on BBC, where they have some scrawny chick thrown in the back of the truck following the soldiers. Anybody seen Mother Courage lately?

I need two p’ir. –One for me, the other for the Pacifist Prez we got in office. Remember he was the one that said, “I didn’t vote for the War.” Now he just gets to initiate them.

Check what he said as a candidate: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0NLyx83v3Q

I need two p’ir. –One for me, the other for the prisoners in Guantanamo.

Check what Big boy said as a candidate: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQXZoM__vU0

Yes, I can’t.



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