1. 44 states and D.C. have now either secured a NCLB waiver or have applied for one.
  2. South Carolina teachers and principals are upset about a proposal that would give them letter grades of “A” through “F” which would then affect their pay, positions, and jobs. This as part of the state’s NCLB waiver application.
  3. In the latest Race to the Top competition (RTTT), $400 million is up for grabs and 893 districts have applied. Small districts are competing for $10 million to $20 million; large districts are eligible for $30 million to $40 million. However, local unions have veto power, so the number of participants might decrease. Biggest sticking point: teacher evaluations.
  4. The nine states and D.C., the winners of the first $435 billion to the Top competition, are now halfway into their 4-year plan, but now comes the hard part: implementing the new programs and school improvement efforts in the classroom.
  5. So far, of those first Race to the Top competition winners, the only state to post both 4th and 8th grade reading and math gains on last year’s NAEP exam is Hawaii. Nevertheless, its entire RTTT grant status is listed as “high risk” because it’s now missing a new teacher contract that links teacher evaluations to consequences beginning in September, 2014.