The U.S. Department of Education announced today that 15 states and the District of Columbia were chosen as finalists in the first phase of The Race to the Top Fund ($4 billion). Forty states and D.C. applied for funding in this first competition which required a single proposal from each state (Please follow this link to the State of Georgia’s proposal). Panels of experts selected by the Department of Education rated the proposals using a 500 point scoring system.
At the Race to the Top website, proposals from the States must advance reforms around four specific areas:
- Adopting standards and assessments that prepare students to succeed in college and the workplace and to compete in the global economy;
- Building data systems that measure student growth and success, and inform teachers and principals about how they can improve instruction;
- Recruiting, developing, rewarding, and retaining effective teachers and principals, especially where they are needed most; and
- Turning around our lowest-achieving schools.
According the Department of Education,
Awards in Race to the Top will go to States that are leading the way with ambitious yet achievable plans for implementing coherent, compelling, and comprehensive education reform. Race to the Top winners will help trail-blaze effective reforms and provide examples for States and local school districts throughout the country to follow as they too are hard at work on reforms that can transform our schools for decades to come.
Each proposal was evaluated using a 500-point grading scale (see the bottom of this post). Although scores have not been revealed, on the 15th of March 5-person teams representing the 16 finalists will go to Washington to further present their case to the panels of experts. This will give the expert panels an opportunity to further evaluate, and refine or modify their scores. A final rank-ordered list will be presented to the Secretary of Education, who will make the final decisions.
Phase I finalists are as follows:
• Colorado • Delaware • District of Columbia • Florida • Georgia • Illinois • Kentucky • Louisiana • Massachusetts • New York • North Carolina • Ohio • Pennsylvania • Rhode Island • South Carolina • Tennessee
Here is a map showing the distribution of states who are finalists compared to states that did not make this first cut, and states that did not submit an application. A second round will take place in June, and states that did not make the first cut, or did not submit can submit an application for Phase II.Tags: Finalists, Map of Race to the Top, The Race to the Top