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Is "Race to the Top" on the wrong track?

"For our purposes, we need to move on a reform agenda," said Gov. Bill Ritter after Colorado lost out in the first round of "Race to the Top" federal funding of school reform that may total $4.35 billion.

"And for those things that are going to cost money, we hope to get 'Race to the Top' funding in the second phase. But if we don't, we're going to have to look at how we pay for that reform agenda and not let kids lag behind."

The scramble among states for "Race to the Top" money appears compromised because the competition gives great weight to buy-in from teachers' unions and not enough focus on charter schools, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Why not pour the billions into creating more proven successes like the Denver School of Science and Technology?

That charter school, founded in 2004, serves a student body that is substantially minority and/or low income. Yet, for the third year in a row, it reported in December, 100 percent of its senior class was "accepted into a four-year college or university."

It also received a silver medal in the U.S. News & World Report analysis of "Best High Schools."

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