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Backing a Better Solution

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At issue, will consolidation - and increased competition for federal dollars - negate minority participation in such programs or otherwise leave communities, institutions and students of color behind? "Our children's future should not depend on whether their state or district receives a competitive grant," says National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel, referring to Race to the Top, one of several Obama initiatives that uses competition to drive reform. The consolidation/competition proposal that has generated considerable attention is a plan to take separate National Science Foundation programs for historically Black colleges and universities and tribal colleges and fold them into a new, larger program featuring partnerships between MSIs and majority institutions.

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