ERIC Number: EJ864128
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Aug-26
Reference Count: 0
Hurdles Ahead in "Race to Top"
Education Week, v29 n1 p1, 22 Aug 2009
As states scramble to spend and report on millions of dollars of education stimulus funds already flowing their way, they face another daunting task if they want a shot at even more money: navigating the complex application process for $4 billion from the Race to the Top Fund. Merely filling out the award application will take each state 642 hours, according to the U.S. Department of Education, which included that estimate in its 35-page draft guidelines for the Race to the Top competition, published late last month in the "Federal Register." That's a lot of staff time for state education departments, which have been stung by staffing woes and budget cuts caused largely by a national recession, declining tax revenues, and big state budget deficits. The Race to the Top competition, officially kicked off by President Obama last month in a speech at the federal Education Department, will judge states on 19 criteria that range from how sophisticated their data systems are to whether they allow unlimited numbers of charter schools. The department will award an undetermined number of states for innovative education reform proposals that center on improving academic standards, teacher quality, data collection, and the lowest-performing schools. The department is accepting comments on the draft criteria before making them final in October, after which states will have 60 days to apply for Phase 1 of the grants. The second phase will begin early next year. The job of competing for Race to the Top grants is more than just filling in blanks on an application or securing letters of support for key stakeholders--one of the criteria on which states will be judged. Education Secretary Duncan has said he wants innovative proposals that move states beyond the status quo.
Descriptors: Statewide Planning, Charter Schools, Teacher Effectiveness, Recognition (Achievement), Taxes, Criteria, Academic Standards, Competition, Educational Change, State Departments of Education, Educational Innovation, Income, Government Employees, Educational Improvement, Stakeholders, Public Agencies, Money Management, Economic Opportunities, Budgets, Economic Climate, Financial Exigency, Rural Areas, Rural Schools, Fiscal Capacity
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A