California and LA Unified Lose Bid For Race to the Top

Perhaps it is fitting that a state that had highlighted the Los Angeles Unified school district as their poster child for education reform should lose the Race to the Top competition. As the Los Angeles Times reports:

California has fallen short in its bid to win a controversial federal Race to the Top school-reform grant.

The winners, just confirmed by federal officials, are Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island and the District of Columbia.

Had they prevailed, participating California school systems stood to receive as much as $700 million. The Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation’s second-largest school system, was in line for about $120 million; Long Beach Unified would have received at least $18 million.

A district that spends $578 million for one new Taj Mahal, er, high school and has failed to utilize data to evaluate teachers in meaningful ways should not be in line for another $120 million in federal funds for racing to the top.