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County Schools Not Selected as Finalist for Race to the Top Grant

Howard County Schools are no longer in the running for a $20 to $30 million federal grant.

 

Howard County Public Schools was not one of 61 school districts selected as finalists for a federal Race to the Top district grant that could have netted local schools up to $30 million in federal money.

The nearby school districts of Baltimore County and Baltimore City were both selected among the finalists, which were announced last week. But Howard County wasn't able to obtain the approval of the teacher's union for the grant application, which was one of the requirements.

"It is disappointing that we will not be able to accelerate our efforts to personalize learning for students in our highly impacted schools with the infusion of $30 million from the federal government," said Supt. Renee Foose. "I am delighted to hear that both Baltimore County and Baltimore City are among the finalists for this grant and wish them well."

Paul Lemle, the president of the Howard County Education Association, which represents teachers and school staff, said during the grant application process that HCEA wasn't given enough time to review the application. He also said the union isn't supportive of Race to the Top measures that tie teachers' pay with students' standardized test performance.

The grant is designed to help school districts implement personalized learning plans in order to close achievement gaps and increase educators' effectiveness, according to the U.S. Department of Education. In a press release, the Department of Education stated 15-25 winners will be selected from the 61 finalists for grants ranging from $5 million to $40 million, depending on the population of students in the district.

In Howard County's case, central school staff worked hard to finish the grant application within the 10-week window given by the government, according to Foose.

However, the application wasn't approved by the Howard County Board of Education until Oct. 30, which gave HCEA only two days to approve the final version of the application that was due on Nov. 1—something Lemle said the union couldn't do because HCEA bylaws require three-day notice to hold a board of directors and representative council meeting.

As a result, the school system submitted the application to the federal government on time, but without the required signature of the teacher's union.

For more information see - "$30 Million Grant Application Fails to Receive Union Signature"

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Jack December 04, 2012 at 07:23 AM
"It is disappointing that we will not be able to accelerate our efforts to personalize learning for students in our highly impacted schools with the infusion of $30 million from the federal government," said Supt. Renee Foose. Disappointing the BOE hired this novice behind our backs in a motel and gave her a 100 thousand dollar raise and 25 grand to move here which we have heard nothing more about. Perhaps she could give this undeserved salary back to be used for these children. Disappointing. Dec 5 Foose will hold another dog and pony show at Marriotts Ridge but the public will not be allowed to ask questions from the floor and it will become the third in a series of PR videos. Disappointing the administration continues to work behind our backs
Frank in Elkridge December 04, 2012 at 02:16 PM
Thanks for the link. Very enlightening. It's ominous when the teachers union can interfere with school funding. $30 million is a of lot money that they just kicked away from our schools.
EL December 04, 2012 at 02:58 PM
Your stats confuse me. You say 1000 who enter HCC - I assume you mean 1000 kids from the 12 howard county high schools. So taking total enrollment from the high schools and dividing by 4 (do get a rough per grade number) we have ABOUT 4129 seniors. So you are saying 1000 of those go to HCC? Is this an official number? Where can I find this? Then you say only 13% graduate? I found some information dated 2008 stating 13 point something graduate. Are you implying this graduation rate is the fault of Howard County Public Schools? Because doing a little research, VERY low graduation rate is something you find across the board for community colleges. From Reclaiming the American Dream: Community Colleges and The Nations Future - "less than half of students who enter a community college graduate or transfer to a four-year college within six years. " So THAT is not something we can lay at the feet of Howard County Public Schools.
Leslie Kornreich December 04, 2012 at 04:50 PM
The HCEA was basically handed a completed proposal by the HCPSS central office staff and told "sign this, we'll work out the details of how it will affect the teachers later." Would any of you sign a contract in which the opposing party said "sign this, we'll work out the details later"?
Frank in Elkridge December 04, 2012 at 04:59 PM
How is the "HCPSS central office staff" an "opposing party"? Has war been declared between the teachers union and the school district? Is this some kind of football game with one side winning and the other side losing? I expect the HCEA and the school district to cooperate, in the best interests of the students. That involves some give-and-take and compromise. Unfortunately, that sort of working-together attitude seems to have died in this country.
Leslie Kornreich December 04, 2012 at 05:15 PM
We agree, Frank, that HCEA and the school system staff should cooperate, because providing students with the best quality education possible is the most important thing. It is very difficult, however, to be considered an equal partner in this shared goal when teachers are shut out of the process (of the grant proposal, of the middle school program of studies change that led to the removal of the reading class) and asked for feedback, not input, once the process is essentially finished.
MG42 December 04, 2012 at 05:26 PM
Who is negotiating on behalf of the taxpayers when the unions and school district negotiate? This $30MM comes from taxpayers, who represents those suckers?
MG42 December 05, 2012 at 12:47 AM
If you support innovation and creativity, you probably also support school vouchers, right? Teachers are the most overrated professionals out there. Most have liberal arts degrees that have no market value in the real world. They should be thanking Zeus that they have jobs at all. Those who can't do, teach. I say this as a product of Howard County public schools from K-12.
Jack December 05, 2012 at 07:19 AM
No where in any of this is community involvement. There are a lot of stakeholders but the parents have the least to say in this.
Jack December 05, 2012 at 07:31 AM
About 26% of hcpss grads enter HCC each year. 71 % remedial ed rate is the absolute failure of the hcpss. 13% graduation rate is the absolute failure of the hcpss. Foose at her listen and learn forum put the college graduation rate for hcpss grads at about 20%. Deceiving the public by touting 90% continue their education in college as a measure of success by the hcpss is despicable. The graduation rate and the teach to the test assessments were both used in the grant application to illustrate both quality and improvement in the hcpss neither of which exist.
Jack December 05, 2012 at 07:37 AM
Go read the grant application at Howardpubliced. Neither the teachers or students would have benefited from this. Now if there was a course on how to milk the public of its tax dollars under the guise of education than we could churn out some career ready grads and send them off in a very lucrative field.
bill bissenas December 05, 2012 at 02:03 PM
The unions don't accept real innovation b/c it's a threat to their power. The goal isn't to improve education or empower students and parents. The goal self-enrichment and retention of power.
bill bissenas December 05, 2012 at 02:05 PM
The public sector unions were started because the Democrats figured out that they could launder public funds through unions to support their election campaigns. This unholy and corrupt symbiotic relationship between unions and Democrats continues to this day.
bill bissenas December 05, 2012 at 02:06 PM
They are expressing resentment of centralized control. The Federal government continues the take over of the eduational system in this country. Teachers should expect less and less control in the future.
bill bissenas December 05, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Of course it's all about the teachers, nevermind where the money comes from. This incident expresses the reason why there should be no HCEA. The unions must extract the maximum economic benefit from the taxpayers, regardless of performance or the external economics. If Howard County residents really want to get innovative, they'd rid themselves of the HCEA.
Thomas Diller December 07, 2012 at 05:18 PM
EL, you're wasting your time with this bozo! He states 13%, but he will never acknowledge that students from HCC transfer to 4-year schools, thus never graduating from HCC. If you try to get Jack to actually post his research and sources, he'll either vanish, change the subject, or post some more gibberish. Watch this: Hey Jack, show me where "Foose at her listen and learn forum put the college graduation rate for hcpss grads at about 20%"
Jack December 08, 2012 at 01:17 AM
Hey Thomas, Foose at the begining of her first listen and learn forum put Hcpss grads in line with the national average of around 20%. A couple BOE members confirm the numbers are in this range. A real hard answer from the hcpss is something they have yet to give the public opting instead for the illusion 90% say they plan to attend. The numbers from HCC are available at HCC on the 26%, about 1,000 of our grads we send them. Transfer rates are low and vary from year to year but does not mean these children graduate anywhere. What you forgot Thomas is the number of our grads which began at a 4 year and transfered back which is rather high so the numbers are accurate. Thomas you should quit going in circles and use your real name but I do appreciate you constantly helping to reinforce the truth.
Thomas Diller December 08, 2012 at 02:23 AM
Good one Jack, but you continue to prove me right. Again I have to ask: show me where "Foose at her listen and learn forum put the college graduation rate for hcpss grads at about 20%". Because we both know that she never said HCPSS grads are in line with the national average. Show me! So does that mean that HCPSS is in line with the national average that graduate from high school (69%)? And who are the BoE member who confirmed this? Because they need to be voted out at the next election! There's no way HCPSS is in line with the national average. So keep living in the fantasy world that you call howardpubliced while the rest of us know better.
Jack December 08, 2012 at 05:27 AM
Thomas you keep reaching but you are as empty as the claim 90% of hcpss grads continue their education in college. Visit Howardpubiced and read the RTTT-D grant application where Wise claims 90% of students surveyed 1 month prior to graduation say they plan to attend college. HCPSS does not even know if they actually do or what becomes of them. The stats from HCC are correct for 26% of our grads. Foose bought a tracking service through a national clearing house to find out so when she speaks of the overall graduation rate of about 20% it is for good reason. No one is disputing these facts but you. It is deceptive. While you are reading the RTTT-D grant application which is over 300 pages pay attention to all the charts which show the grad rates by demographics and you will see some groups are fairly low.
Thomas Diller December 08, 2012 at 07:55 PM
See EL, first he states that "Foose...put the college graduation rate for hcpss grads at about 20%". Then when challenged, he admits that she was talking about the "overall graduation rate" and not HCPSS. Then when you ask him what "BOE members confirm the numbers," he's quiet. I would love to see ANYONE (outside of howardpubliced of course) claim that our high school graduation rate is 69%. Please Jack, share the names of these BoE members who support your claim.
Jack December 09, 2012 at 02:28 AM
Thomas, I will wait until "EL"responds to you since you are addressing him. While we wait perhaps you could explain "our high school graduation rate is 69%" and where you got this from.
Thomas Diller December 09, 2012 at 03:55 AM
Poor Jack, confused by his own jumbled argument. Dr Foose stated that, nationally, for every 100 ninth graders entering high school: 69 will graduate from high school, 42 will enter college, and 20 will graduate from college. You claimed that HCPSS is in line with this national average and you claimed that a few BoE members confirm this. So, again, show me where HCPSS graduates roughly 69% of its ninth graders and give the names of the BoE members who confirm this.
Jack December 09, 2012 at 04:29 AM
for every 100 ninth graders 20 will graduate from college......... 20% Now if you are saying Foose has no idea now many graduate college than you are probably correct. However, Foose believes we are in line with the national average or low 20 percentile for college grads produced by the hcpss and so does the BOE. Now you seem to be confused by our high school grad rates although they are low for minorities and children of poverty. The hcpss teaches to the test, curriculum is aligned to the test and measures our students with the results of these watered down assessments. They graduate about 90% with assesssments in the 90 percential and claim 90% continue in college. When these children show up at places like HCC and 71% need remedial ed and only 13% succeed well we have a very serious problem. What happened Thomas? 13 years of public school in the 90 percentile and when the real world measures them they are grossly unprepared. It is called deception Thomas, it's a scam, the hcpss has decieved the public. It is real simple, every parent call the hcpss monday and ask for the truth. 90% are sent to college with no other skills and we expect to see 90% succeed but this is far from the case.
Thomas Diller December 10, 2012 at 04:02 PM
Jack, this must be really frustrating for you to be challenged on your imaginary information. Which is probably why you keep changing the subject. So I'll ask again (in case you missed the first three times I asked), show me where the BoE confirms that the HCPSS graduates high schoolers "in line with the national average" of 69%. Also, tell me where Dr Foose mentions ANYTHING about HCPSS's college graduation rate.
Jack December 10, 2012 at 04:45 PM
Thomas, "in line with the national average" of 69%" is your posting here.
Thomas Diller December 10, 2012 at 07:00 PM
Wrong again Jack old boy! You made up the claim that Foose "put the college graduation rate for hcpss grads at about 20%" (which she never did) and then you followed that up by claiming that "A couple BOE members confirm the numbers" (even though you refuse to say which ones). Then when questioned, you further claimed that Foose "put Hcpss grads in line with the national average", right? Well, the 69% high school graduation rate is the national average that you claim is in line with HCPSS students. This stat is even on the same slide as the stat about how many graduate from college, right? She says that for every 100 ninth graders who enter high school, 69 will graduate from high school, 42 will enter college, and 20 will graduate from college. These are the stats that you're quoting Jack, aren't they? So which is it: are the HCPSS students inline with the national average or not? And when did Foose make this claim?
Marc December 10, 2012 at 10:05 PM
H.R. Based on your comments and jumping to conclusions re school vouchers, I believe your teachers failed to reach you or else you slept a lot in class.
Marc December 10, 2012 at 10:15 PM
I believe our schools have failed in the past years to teach critical thinking skills based on the comments that I've read. Paul, you must get after the teachers to stress critical thinking skills in ALL classes.
Jack December 10, 2012 at 10:16 PM
Thomas. let's quit going in circles. Since you seem to believe you know the answer you tell us how many of the 90% of our hcpss graduates which the hcpss claims enter college actually ever graduate? While we wait I am going with the 13% HCC graduates and publicly states and even though I found it shocking I will stay with the low 20% which Foose cited as the national average unless you can find someone in the hcpss to show us otherwise.
MG42 December 10, 2012 at 10:19 PM
Mark- Haha, very intelligent comment. Your teachers have clearly exceeded my expectations (at least in absolute value terms).

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