The initial results of the Obama administration’s signature school improvement initiative, known as Race to the Top, have left a sour taste for many states, reports the New York Times: Many state leaders are questioning the criteria by which winners were chosen, wondering why there were only two that won and criticizing a last-minute cap on future awards. Colorado, which had hoped to win $377 million, finished in 14th place—and Gov. Bill Ritter Jr. says the scoring by anonymous judges seemed inscrutable, some Coloradans view the contest as federal intrusion, and he has not decided whether to reapply for the second round. “It was like the Olympic Games, and we were an American skater with a Soviet judge from the 1980s,” Ritter said. Besides Colorado, a string of other states—including Arizona, California, Nebraska, South Carolina, and South Dakota—say they have not yet decided whether to keep participating. “There’s a serious conversation going on here about whether it makes sense to put all that time and effort in again to reapply,” said Rick Miller, former deputy schools superintendent of California. Officials from several states criticized the scoring of the contest, which favored states able to gain support from 100 percent of school districts and local teachers’ unions for Obama administration objectives like expanding charter schools, reworking teacher evaluation systems, and turning around low-performing schools. Marshalling such support is one thing for a tiny state like Delaware, with 38 districts, they said, and quite another for, say, California, with some 1,500…

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