It’s official: New York in Race to the Top winners’ circle

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010 at 4:07 pm by

New York is among nine states and the District of Columbia announced today by U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan as winners of second round funding from the federal Race to the Top program.

New York will receive the maximum grant possible, just under $700 million, to be used over a four-year period.

New York achieved the second highest score among the winning states.  Massachusetts had the highest score.

The funds must be used to implement systemic reform initiatives in four areas, as outlined in the state’s winning application:

  • Adopting internationally-benchmarked standards and assessments that prepare students for success in college and the workplace
  • Recruiting, developing, retaining, and rewarding effective teachers and principals
  • Building instructional data systems that measure student success and inform teachers and principals how they can improve their practices
  • Turning around the lowest-performing schools

Race to the Top funds cannot be used to fund basic, ongoing operations — to avert layoffs, or offset local taxes.

The federal program requires each winning state to allocate at least half its grant among school districts and charter schools which have signed agreements to implement its plans.  New York’s application calls for using part of the state’s half to make additional grants to local school systems to support specific reform initiatives.

Here is a link to the statement released by the State Education Department.

Here is the statement the Council released:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:    August 24, 2010

CONTACT:        Robert Lowry Ÿ 518/449-1063 or 518/435-5996 (cell)

E-mail:  boblowry@nyscoss.org

NYS School Superintendents Congratulate State Education Leaders on Race to the Top Win

“Today’s news that New York is among the winning states for federal Race to the Top funding will give an otherwise unobtainable boost to our efforts to improve learning opportunities for all schoolchildren.

“The federal grant will help our state to update and improve the foundations of our education system – standards, assessments, curriculum, training for teachers and school leaders, data systems to track student progress, and programs to turn-around chronically struggling schools.

“Given the state’s budget woes, there is no way this crucial work could proceed without the help from Washington.  With it, we will be able to better ensure that our schools are giving all students the skills and knowledge they will need to thrive in life beyond school.

“We congratulate Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch and Commissioner David Steiner for their leadership of our state’s successful effort.  The application they developed won widespread endorsement from education leaders across New York.  Over 90 percent of the state’s school districts submitted agreements signed by their superintendents supporting the state’s application.”

Robert J. Reidy, Ph. D
Executive Director
New York State Council of School Superintendents

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