McDonnell on MSNBC: Race to the Top too burdensome
For the second time in a week, Gov. Bob McDonnell took to the national airwaves to explain why Virginia pulled out of President Obama's Race to the Top school reform derby.
McDonnell (R) told viewers on Morning Joe Tuesday morning that even though other conservatives support Race to the Top, he has found that it is a well-meaning program that creates "too many burdens and mandates on the states."
The governor said that he would not allow the state to abandon its benchmarks, known as the Standards of Learning. In March, Virginia finished 31st out of 41 competitors in the first round of the competition.
"The problem is one of the criteria is to adopt a common core set of standards -- academic set of standards -- to get the points you need to be competitive and we can't do that,'' he said. "We've had a great set of standards here in Virginia for 15 years and we think that common set of standards ought to be a floor not a ceiling...They would require us to reduce the quality of Virginia standards and we just can't do that."
McDonnell had been a huge supporter of the Race to the Top program, referring to it constantly during his campaign and personally lobbying Obama and Secretary Arne Duncan on the program in the first few months of his tenure.
"I was very supportive of the President in his initiative and Secretary Duncan during the campaign and even now,'' he said. "His idea of giving more young people access to the American dream through better schools is exactly right -- merit pay, charter schools, more accountability -- I support that 100 percent."
June 1, 2010; 7:52 AM ET
Categories: Anita Kumar , Barack Obama , Robert F. McDonnell
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