John Merrow interviews Herb Kohl, and the answer to the first question seems to say it all:
JM: What’s your quick impression of Arne Duncan’s “Race to the Top” plans, which include what sounds like serious competition for dollars—and that means winners and losers? Is this political courage, or is it more federal encroachment on public education?h/t: Smalltalk
HK: Arne Duncan, on the official Department of Education website said, “For states, school districts, nonprofits, unions, and businesses, Race to the Top is the equivalent of education reform’s moon shot.” I thoroughly agree with him. Remember we went to the moon, not to improve science or the quality of life in our country, but to face down the Soviet Union. We spent a lot of money doing it, got little return, and never went back. I believe Duncan’s analogy should be taken seriously.