Arne Duncan’s $800 million fight

Joel Wendland:

he total federal budget for 2010 came in at just a hair under $3.6 trillion. In some weird sort of perspective that means $800 million equals less than three hundredths of one percent (.00022 percent) of the total amount. So why is Education Secretary Arne Duncan fighting so hard to keep it?
According to media reports, the $800 million comes out of his “Race to the Top” and other education reform programs to help offset a $10 billion package to protect education jobs in the House supplemental appropriations bill, which includes $33 billion for the wars.
Leading House Democrats proposed the offset in response to public school teachers who oppose some of the provisions of the “Race to the Top” program.
While they appreciate the administration’s commitment to educate, teachers say the “Race to the Top” reforms specifically emphasize testing and school privatization over a needed bigger commitment to professional development and financial support for ailing schools. Under the reform, teachers argue, schools are forced to teach to tests or face closure and mass firings of school personnel.