Why? However fine the intentions were of the Obama administration officials, critics say that the reforms were not well thought out, not based in solid research and were rushed into implementation. They also say that the totality of the reforms have ignored the most basic problem in public education: equity in educational opportunity. Students from wealthy families continue to do far better than middle-class and lower-class families — and that gap keeps growing.
There are problems with Race to the Top. Many of the states that collectively won more than $4 billion in Race to the Top money are facing big challenges in implementing them according to a February 2013 report by the Education Department. The biggest problems: implementing new educator evaluation standards and creating sophisticated student data systems that are supposed to be able to inform teaching. The whole notion of competitive grants in education has driven critics to say that the administration has ignored equity issues.
Furthermore, the growth of for-profit charter management companies has highlighted the move toward privatization of public education, which many believe is damaging the country’s most important civic institution.