National News

N.C. among finalists for second round of education grants

Posted July 27, 2010

— Eighteen states and the District of Columbia were named finalists Tuesday in the second round of the federal "Race to the Top" school reform grant competition, giving them a chance to receive a share of $3.4 billion.

The states are: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and South Carolina.

The competition rewards ambitious reforms aimed at improving struggling schools and closing the achievement gap.

"It's being driven by great educators and administrators who are challenging the defeatism and inertia that has trapped generations of children in second-rate schools," Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a speech announcing the finalists.

Applications were screened by a panel of peer reviewers, and finalists will travel to Washington in coming weeks to present their proposals.

In all, 35 states and the District of Columbia applied for the second round of the application. The 19 finalists have asked for $6.2 billion, though only $3.4 billion is available.

Dozens of states passed new education policies to make themselves more attractive to the judges.

New York, which was a finalist in the first round but did not win money, lifted its cap on the number of charter schools that can open annually from 200 to 460. Colorado passed laws that would pay teachers based on student performance and can strip tenure from low performing instructors.

Two states, Tennessee and Delaware, were awarded a total of $600 million in the first round.

Their applications were praised for merit pay policies that link teacher pay to student performance and for garnering the support of teachers' unions. Tennessee and Delaware also have laws that are welcoming to charter schools.

In the first round of the race, some stakeholders were reluctant to support applications tying teacher evaluations to student test scores.

Second round winners will be announced in September.

"Just as in the first round, we're going to set a very high bar because we know that real and meaningful change will only come from doing hard work and setting high expectations," Duncan said.


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  • methinkthis Jul 28, 2010

    "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite." --James Madison, Federalist No. 45

  • venitapeyton Jul 28, 2010

    I'd be more suspect of srings from the state gov't and 'who' deems which local school systems to be worthy of funding. Let's hope this isn't tied to the Novembers elections.

  • clayt85 Jul 28, 2010

    Lets go get our economics textbooks out, kids... Investment in schools is a short-term investment with a long-term payoff. While the merits of such can be debated on whether the exchange constitutes a profitable economic externality, dismissing it as a "handout" reeks of shortsightedness.

  • teacher56 Jul 28, 2010

    "some stakeholders were reluctant to support applications tying teacher evaluations to student test scores."

    As an educator I am very concerned about this Race To The Top money. I am concerned that this will just be more documentation and paperwork for teachers to do and regarding tying teacher evaluations to student achievement is ridiculous! I can't make a kid learn. I can't make a parent be a good parent. All I can do is teach the curriculum and try to remediate. But achievement ultimately is tied more to the ability of the child to keep on trying and the parent to be a good parent both before the child entered school as well as during the early school years and the child's brain ability. Everything can have an effect but not as much as the above.

  • methinkthis Jul 28, 2010

    Wow! What a prime example of what is wrong with our current unconstitutional system. Focus now! The federal government takes money via numerous taxes from North Carolina residents. Then, if North Carolina is willing to give up some freedoms, aka known as adhere to Federal requirements, they can get some of the money back minus the 'bureaucracy tax' to pay for the management and processing of the blackmail. Now everyone is suppose to genuflect to BHO et all and thank them for giving our money back with just a few requirements. In this case the money is for 'education' which is a state and local responsibility and NOT a constitutionally mandated Federal responsibility. What is being required of NC residents for this slice of our soul? 'Why Amy has two Mommies?' 'Why Mr. Jones is now Mrs. Jones?' 'Why burning the American Flag is an important freedom?' 'Why six graders need to know about condoms?' 'Why killing the baby in the womb is different than killing it outside the womb?' New books

  • cwood3 Jul 28, 2010

    NC Wiseguy-they can print more-just ask old Barack. He does not care. As long as his friends get taken care of-every thing will be ok!!

    Bev-what has she promised to Barack to get the money? That's the 64000$ question!! Did she promise votes-support-a place to hide when he gets run out of DC for incompetence!! Who knows what she promised??? Bev has never scene a $1 in revenue she did'nt like.

    Incompetence in DC-incompetence in Raleigh-we're the ones losing!!

  • ncwiseguy Jul 27, 2010

    grant money............yeah, without a doubt the answer to education problems and shortcomings is to throw more money at them. (dismal swamp land for sale if you buy into this mindless thought....let me know)

    another problem with grant today, gone tomorrow, and next year and the year after. but for some reason once the pols set some program of expenditure in motion, it NEVER DIES. that aint right!!!! then they come back to the taxpayers and skin our hides to cover the shortfall.

    if you really want to throw money some way, i ll be glad to give you my address.

    btw............bev perdue is a one term governor. you heard it here first!!!

    ps.......where did the $3.4 billion come from.........or is it an addon to the already bulging national deficit???

  • whatelseisnew Jul 27, 2010

    3.4 billion of more money we do not have. Perhaps they can get the new crop of K5 kids to sign up to pay that 3.4 billion plus all the interest.

  • VT1994Hokie Jul 27, 2010

    This will be good if it is directed into the right, or shall I say the correct places. Don't give our Governor a chance to place it somewhere. It will turn out like the lottery monies.

  • Peace Love and Cold Meds Jul 27, 2010

    Oh Bev is sweating this one. Come on, give us just one more handout Washington!