I.A.S.D. Approves RTTT Agreement

Ironwood - December 22, 2009

The Ironwood School Board took up the issue of the "Race to the Top" program at last evenings school board meeting.

The Ironwood Area School Board passed the Race To the Top agreement which will make the school district eligible for federal funds under the American Recovery Act. States that agree to the standards established by the state and federal governments will be in the running for the cash rewards for improvements in educational performance.

The program requires data systems be established that track and measure both student performance and teacher performance.

In order for a school district to qualify it must approve an agreement with the state by January ??.

The Agreement must be signed onto by the school board, the district superintendent and the local teacher union.

Tonight Steve Thomas, president of the IASD board of trustees, discussed the reasons that he was opposed to the program. Mr. Thomas is a member of the MEA. However, parties on all sides of the table are not happy with signing an agreement where the terms of the agreement have not yet been formulated. The state is once again putting it to the local districts. Sign, even though you donít know what youíre signing on to, or you wonít get a share of the funds even if the State of Michigan earns it.

The teacherís union has not shown any inclination to approve the compact. Failing to do so will mean that the Ironwood Area School District will not receive what might be their share of the RTTT grant money.

The school board reluctantly approved the measure last night with only Karen Tizianni not voting for the agreement. Karen is a member of the MEA and her union has many questions that must be answered before they approve the unknown terms of the agreement.

The State is mandating a return of the signed agreements by January 6th. The grant app;ications must be to the Federal Government by January 19, 2009.

Winners of the RTTT grants will be announced in April 2010.