Federal snubbing won't slow local Q Comp studyMinnesota was not among the states picked to receive billions in federal education dollars, but Red Wing School District officials said that won't slow efforts to investigate a state program that could have given the district access to those funds.
By: Mike Longaecker, The Republican Eagle
Minnesota was not among the states picked to receive billions in federal education dollars, but Red Wing School District officials said that won't slow efforts to investigate a state program that could have given the district access to those funds.
Just weeks ago, district officials were confident that Minnesota's application for the federal Race to the Top grant program would land it among the 16 states selected.
So when news broke Thursday that Minnesota was left off the list, Supt. Stan Slessor said he was "disappointed and surprised."
"I was really hopeful because of the reputation of our state," he said.
Sixteen states were picked for the grant - none from the Upper Midwest. Illinois is the closest.
The selected states will divvy up about $4 billion.
Minnesota districts had to indicate initial support for the state's controversial Q Comp program to become eligible for the federal dollars. Red Wing indicated initial support for Q Comp and ramped up efforts in recent weeks to learn more about the program, which ties teacher pay to student achievement.
"That won't stop our discussions," Slessor said.
School Board members indicated support for the program last month after a presentation from a Q Comp proponent. If the board decides to pursue Q Comp, the district would have to renegotiate a new contract with the teachers union.
Meanwhile, a district committee will continue studying the program.
"We still move on to see if it's for us," Slessor said.
Wisconsin also was not among states selected for Race to the Top.
"It appears the lack of a merit pay system, a weak connection between student achievement and teacher evaluation, and a lack of reform to the structure of the Milwaukee public schools may have resulted in our denial," Wisconsin Sen. Sheila Harsdorf said in a statement.