Well, I was wrong in suggesting that Race to the Top money would be spread around to everyone, but I was right in suggesting that RTTT is a largely meaningless exercise. It turns out that it is meaningless because union opposition to state plans essentially disqualified those states from winning the money. Only Delaware and Tennessee received money in this round because union opposition blocked the other states. According to the Wall Street Journal:
The administration appeared to put a very high value on applications that had won wide support from unions and school boards within their states. Florida’s bid, for instance, received the support of just 8% of its unions.
If people know that union opposition scuttles a state’s chances, then no state will apply in the future unless they have union support. This means that the unions will dictate what reforms will be pursued, which means that there will be virtually no reform. This enhancement of union power also undermines the rhetorical effects that RTTT had by narrowing state and local policy debate to those measures acceptable to the unions.