According to New Jersey's Governor Christie, their loss in the competition for Race To The Top funding was a federal government conspiracy. Christie says that the feds should have just called if they wanted to know how much the state spent on school funding in 2008 and 2009 (instead of the projected numbers for 2010 and 2011 the state provided). And according to, he also says officials could have easily "found the information on the internet."

Christie complained, "That’s the stuff the Obama administration should answer for. Are you guys just down there checking boxes like mindless drones, or are you thinking? When the president comes back to New Jersey, he’s going to have to explain to the people of the state of New Jersey why he’s depriving them of $400 million that this application earned." Christie blamed the error on an official at the state's DOE, but said excuse him if he got one little thing wrong on the lenghty application. “We’ll take the responsibility we need to take for putting one wrong piece of paper in a thousand page [Ed Note: It was 260 pages] application,” he said. “If you want to take shots, take shots at me."

The New York Times also senses a conspiracy, noting that most of the funding winners are on the east coast. And those states not in the contest's preferred geographical ring say the requirements favor the densely populated state of the Atlantic because they tend to embrace things like charter schools. Armando Vilaseca, commissioner of education of Vermont, said, "This whole effort had more of an urban than a rural flavor."