Fifteen states and Washington, D.C., are leading the pack in the Race to the Top.
Those 16 are finalists for phase 1 of the special education funding included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. It’s part of a $4.35 billion effort by the U.S. Department of Education to reshape America’s educational system to better prepare students.
The finalists are Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee and Washington, D.C.
He encouraged the nonfinalists to reapply for phase 2.
States competing for Race to the Top funds were asked to document past education reform successes, as well as outline plans to extend reforms using college and career-ready standards and assessments; build a work force of highly effective educators; create educational data systems to support student achievement; and turn around their lowest-performing schools.
The 16 finalists were chosen from among the 40 states and Washington, D.C., that submitted applications for phase 1. Winners for phase 1 will be chosen from the 16 finalists and announced in April. Applications for phase 2 will be due on June 1 of this year, with finalists announced in August and winners in September. The only states prohibited from applying in phase 2 are those that receive awards in phase 1.