Posts tagged "race to the race to the top"
August 24, 2010
State and city education officials took a victory lap today after winning nearly $700 million in federal Race to the Top funds. But they were also emphatic that today’s announcement marks the start of hard work, not the end.
The next step is to flesh out how exactly the funds will be used. Half of the grant money, which federal officials will dole out over four years, will stay with the state education department. The state will pass along the rest to school districts, which have 90 days to pitch the state their plan for spending their share of the funds.
The local proposals must adhere to the state’s school reform blueprint. They can’t be used for other purposes, or to fill budget gaps.
The state’s application centers on four main goals: writing new curriculums and assessments that will be standardized across the state and match the new national standards that the state has adopted; building new databases that track students’ progress from kindergarten through college; finding new ways to train teachers and judge them on their effectiveness; and turn around the lowest-performing schools, sometimes by replacing them with charter schools. (Read our full summary of what the state’s application proposes here.) (more…)
August 24, 2010
New York State has won coveted federal Race to the Top grant funds in the second round of competition.
State education officials spent this morning in a meeting as news of the win began to spread. Governor Paterson, State Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch, Commissioner David Steiner and New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein are expected to hold press conferences later in the afternoon. We’ll have updates as we learn more.
UPDATE: The other winners are Florida, Ohio, Georgia, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Maryland, Hawaii, Rhode Island and the District of Columbia.
One big question we don’t know yet: exactly how much money the state has won. But by our math (see below), it seems possible that all of the winners will get the maximum amounts for which they are eligible. And Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch just told me that she’s heard the state will receive almost all of the $696 million it asked for in its application.
UPDATE: State officials have confirmed that New York’s application will be fully funded. New York City is likely to see about $250-300 million of the state’s award.
New York received the second-highest score overall in the competition’s scoring rubric, coming behind only Massachusetts. (The list of the winning applicants and their final scores is below the jump.) This is the state’s second try at the funds; in the first round, New York placed second-to-last among all the finalists.
The formal announcement of winners will come this afternoon from U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan. We’ll have updates throughout the day. (more…)
August 24, 2010
In a few hours, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan will announce the winners of the second round of the Race to the Top grant competition. New York State education officials badly want the nearly $700 million they could win to support their reform efforts.
Here’s a roundup of our coverage of New York’s application, the policy changes that have been made in pursuit of the grant, and what winning or losing will mean for the state.
- We begin back in March, when New York State was told that it would not collect $700 million in the first round of Race to the Top. Few expected New York to win — many were surprised it was named a finalist — and it ultimately placed second to last among the 16 finalists.
- The two states that won, Tennessee and Delaware, were small enough that $3.4 billion remained for other states to fight over. At the time, Duncan said he expected between 10 and 15 states to win in round two. New York education officials responded to the loss by calling for the state legislature to improve the state’s round-two chances by voting in a new teacher evaluation system and raising the charter school cap. (more…)
August 20, 2010
All that’s left is the waiting.
Federal officials could announce the winners of the second round of the Race to the Top grant competition as soon as next week. But before they do, teams from each finalist state, including New York, went to Washington, D.C. last week to make their case for a slice of the $3.4 billion in grant funds that remain to be doled out.
Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch said yesterday that “no surprises” came from the judges during the state’s 90-minute presentation and question-and-answer session Aug. 10. Tisch said the reviewers focused on the meat of the state’s school reform plan, including the timeline for a new teacher evaluation system, the curriculum being developed for new national standards, and school turnaround strategies.
“I just thought it was a very fair, frank conversation,” she said.
Accompanying Tisch in D.C. were State Education Commissioner David Steiner and Deputy Commissioner John King, as well as Chancellor Joel Klein and teachers union chief Michael Mulgrew.
Tisch recruited Klein and Mulgrew for the second round to avert the troubles of the state’s first-round presentation, when judges focused on whether the state would be able to fulfill its promises without more union support. (more…)
July 28, 2010
When Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch pitches New York’s Race to the Top application to federal judges next month, she’ll be joined by two familiar faces from New York City.
Chancellor Joel Klein and United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew will go with state education officials when they travel to Washington, D.C., in two weeks, Tisch announced today.
The three will accompany State Education Commissioner David Steiner and Deputy Commissioner John King, both of whom also represented the state in its first-round presentation in March.
For the first-round presentation, Tisch sent a lower-profile, more technocratic team comprised mostly of state education officials responsible for building the grant application. Things didn’t go well, and the presentation cost the state points.
The addition of Klein and Mulgrew — as well as of Tisch herself — represents a shift in strategy. (more…)
July 27, 2010
Even as they celebrated New York’s Race to the Top finalist status today, state education officials warned that reforms won’t happen without a win.
In recent months, state officials have committed to changing teacher evaluations, creating new databases to track students’ grades and scores, revamping standards, and upgrading tests. But those changes can’t happen unless New York takes home the $700 million it asked for in its Race to the Top application, Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch told me today.
“The reform agenda is very contingent upon an infusion of these federal dollars that are earmarked for reform efforts,” Tisch said.
For a cash-strapped education department in a state whose budget is now nearly four months late, it’s not clear where the money to fund costly reform initiatives will come from without federal backing. And New York is not alone among states whose budgets may not support the changes they have promised or even enacted into law.
But speaking to reporters today, Duncan said that states should carry out their reform plans even if they don’t receive Race to the Top funds. (more…)
July 27, 2010
This just in, via the U.S. Education Department’s Twitter feed: New York is one of the 19 finalists in the second round of the Race to the Top competition.
New York was one of 16 finalists in the first round of competition, but then came in 15th in the final scoring. Only two states, Delaware and Tennessee, won grants in the first round of the contest.
For this round, Education Secretary Arne Duncan has said that there are likely to be 10 to 15 winners of the competitive grant money. New York could be in a better position to win the $700 million grant this round after legislative wrangling last spring resulted in a new teacher evaluation system and a lift on the number of charter schools allowed to open statewide.
The other finalists are: Arizona, California, Colorado, Washington, D.C., Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and South Carolina.
In a few minutes, Duncan will formally announce the finalists during a speech at the National Press Club. We’ll have more on the announcement later in the afternoon.
July 26, 2010
New York could enter Race to the Top’s bell lap tomorrow — and then one step closer to winning $700 million toward overhauling to the state’s education system.
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan will announce second-round finalists tomorrow during a speech in Washington, where he is set to discuss what he is characterizing as the “quiet revolution” of education reform.
New York State surprised many observers by being named a finalist in the first round of awards even though, at the time, the state legislature had not yet lifted the cap on charter schools or passed legislation overhauling the way teachers are evaluated. In the final first-round scoring, New York placed 15th out of 16 finalists.
But in part because of those legislative changes, some observers are predicting that the state’s chances of winning, or at least being named a finalist, are better this round.
New York’s chances could also be boosted through pure statistics. Only Delaware and Tennessee won in the contest’s first round, leaving most of the pot — $3.4 billion — left to award. Duncan has said that there are likely to be 10 to 15 second-round winners, out of a total of 36 states applying.
July 7, 2010
A federal teacher jobs bill would send New York City schools $200 million, but could also chip away at federal grant money the city hopes to win.
The so-called “edujobs” bill has become the center of a politically charged debate. On one side are supporters of the Obama administration’s reform efforts and on the other are those who argue that saving teacher jobs is worth slowing the pace of change. The bill, headed for the Senate after passing the House last week, would send a total of about $622 million to New York State.
After a previous attempt to save teacher jobs foundered, the bill’s sponsor, Wisconsin Representative David Obey introduced a new bill that would redirect about 10 percent of funding for Race to the Top into a $10 billion fund for teacher jobs. Federal teacher quality and new charter school programs also would be tapped for the jobs fund.
Obama has threatened to veto the measure if passed in its current form, raising the ire of the national teachers unions. (more…)
June 15, 2010
How does New York’s Race to the Top application compare to other states? An analysis of school district and union buy-in to state applications published yesterday by EdWeek gives some clues.
On a piece of the application that is worth 60 out of the total 500 points, New York outperformed the national average – but not staggeringly so.
One of the ways a state can win Race to the Top is by proving that its school districts and teachers union support the reforms the application proposes. States prove this by turning in Memorandums of Understanding signed by each of those groups. The more MOUs a state submits, the more points it gets toward the 60-point categories for buy-in. (You can read the full scoring guidelines for the competition here.)
In New York, all of the state’s 744 school district superintendents agreed to participate in New York’s plan if the state wins grant money. That’s a lot more than the average of 61 percent of school districts that signed onto their states’ plans nationally, according to the EdWeek analysis. (more…)