Susan Ohanian provided this background:
Here's some info on the architect of RTTT
Jon Schnur is credited with being the architect of Race to the Top. He is to Race to the Top what Sandy Kress was to No Child Left Behind. Here's some background on him .
Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of New Leaders for New Schools; Special Assistant to Secretary of Education Richard Riley, President Clinton's White House Associate Director for Educational Policy; Senior Advisor on Education to Vice President Gore; advisor to President Barack Obama, he played a pivotal role in writing the federal stimulus plan for schools. He spearheaded the development of many educational policies in such areas as teacher recruitment and training, after-school programs, school reform and charter schools.
Princeton graduate 1989 (classmate of Wendy Kopp); New Leaders for New Schools was founded in 2000, emerging from the business plan written by Schnur while taking coursework at the Graduate School of Education, the Business School and John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Notable Comment: [Having] more Teach For America corps members who stay in education in some way and continue to play significant leadership roles—whether at the classroom level, the principal level, the school-system level— and devote years and years of their lives in order to help build the capacity of our school systems and communities to deliver a great education for kids, is really crucial.-- One Day Teach for America Alumni Magazine, Winter 2009 http://www.teachforamerica.org/alumni/one_day/summer2009_cover.htm
Notable Comment: President Obama and Secretary Arne Duncan are extraordinary champions and leaders who are helping our nation invest in our future and dramatically improve education. I have been so honored to advise and support them over the past several months during my leave of absence from New Leaders. This experience has confirmed for me what drove me to create and lead New Leaders in the first place. First, that breakthrough success in education is urgently needed and possible. Second, there is nothing more important in education than demonstrating and codifying how the breakthrough results that have happened in individual classrooms and schools can happen at unprecedented scale for our students in greatest need.—Gotham Schools, May 1, 2009 http://gothamschools.org/2009/05/01/jon-schnur-ideolocrat-poster-boy-will-not-work-for-obama
Refutation: Schnur continues by lecturing us about the "data" - in reality, a bunch of applications divided up on a 500-point rubric and added together with four-function math that Schnur masquerades as a distant cousin of multivariate calculus. Secretary Duncan agrees that critics have "misread [the administration's] intent" by simply pointing out that states generating the most points, including on that specific section on "buy-in" cited by Andy Smarick, stand the best chance at winning RTTT funds.
BCSA Panel (Sponsored by the Business Roundtable & the US Chamber of Commerce)http://www.biz4achievement.org/in_the_news/bc_hosts_panel.html
On June 21, 2007, the Business Coalition for Student Achievement hosted a panel of innovative education reform leaders to discuss strategies helping to achieve the goals of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act.
The discussion included
Mike Feinberg, Co-Founder, Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP)
Christopher Barbic, Founder and Head, YES Prep Public Schools
Jon Schnur, Founder and CEO, New Leaders for New Schools
Tim Daly, President, The New Teacher Project
Wendy Kopp, CEO and Founder, Teach For America.
Look at who spoke at Yale School of Management (SOM) Education Leadership Conference
Schnur is listed as member of working group on education at American Enterprise Institute
And so on.
I just did an analysis for FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) on who gets to speak in the press about RTTT. I think it's kind of stunning. FAIR's Extra! will be a special education issue--in September.