USDOE Announces Additional Race to the Top Winners

Although they were not funded at the level they initially requested, seven states learned in late December that they will receive a $200 million 'runners-up' award.  Many of the reforms which now can be initiated include implementation efforts for the Common Core State Standards, improving data systems, advancing teacher effectiveness, technology supports, and STEM integration.  Those states include Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Each of the states were named as runners-up in last year's $4 billion Race to the Top competition.  The grants are based on student population and range from just over $17 million  in Kentucky and Louisiana to nearly $43 million in Illinois.  These funds will go towards partial implementation of state plans submitted as part of the Race to the Top application process.  Two other runner-up states were not included in the December funding:  South Carolina was ineligible and California submitted an incomplete application according to the Department.  Some highlights, as reported by EdWeek, include:

Arizona plans to establish five regional education centers, support the transition to the Common Core State Standards, and improve data systems to inform educational decision-making.

Colorado plans to transition to college-and-career ready standards, improve educator effectiveness by providing statewide training to implement its new teacher evaluation system, and continue with STEM integration.

Illinois plans to create a group of "reform exemplars" among participating districts that will agree to meet a high bar for implementing a comprehensive set of reforms, build systems and processes to continue and sustain improved student outcomes for all participating school districts, and build state capacity to extend reforms statewide.

Kentucky plans to focus on its "one-stop shop" technology support system for Kentucy educators and to scale up the AdvanceKentucky project which is aimed at engaging underserved and underrepresented student populations in advanced STEM courses.

Louisiana plans to implement a performance-management system statewide to measure teacher and leader effectiveness and increase professional development resources available for STEM teachers, and develop and deliver professional development modules aligned with the Common Core in math, among other things.

New Jersey plans to develop model curricula that will assist teachers and leaders in the transition to Common Core assessments, launch its newly created teacher evaluation system statewide and pilot a new evaluation system for principals as well as enhance its charter school application review and renewal processes.

Pennsylvania plans to expand student and teacher access to quality courses and instructional resources to improve student achievement, particularly in STEM subjects, and refine and implement teacher and principal evaluation systems that incorporate student performance results as a significant factor.

States and their funding levels include:

 

Applicant

 

Requested

Funding

 

 

Recommended

Funding

 

Arizona

$25,080,554

$25,080,554

Colorado

$17,946,236

$17,946,236

Illinois

$42,818,707

$42,818,707

Kentucky

$17,037,544

$17,037,544

Louisiana

$17,442,972

$17,442,972

New Jersey

$37,847,648

$37,847,648

Pennsylvania

$41,326,299

$41,326,299