The U.S. Department of Education announced today that five applicants have won a total of approximately $120 million in the second round of the Race to the Top-District (RTT-D) competition.
The grants will go to support locally developed plans to personalize and improve student learning, directly increase student achievement and educator effectiveness, close achievement gaps, and prepare every student for success in college and careers. Through these grants, school districts will be able to better support teachers and students by increasing educational opportunities. The grants will also help teachers tailor their approach to meet their students' needs, allow them to collaborate in new ways, and provide students with resources that enable them to access a world-class education no matter where they are.
The winners are:
- Clarendon County School District Two (consortium of four rural districts), South Carolina
- Clarksdale Municipal School District, Mississippi
- Houston Independent School District, Texas
- Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative (consortium of 18 rural districts)
- Springdale School District, Arkansas
These winners particularly shine a light on the innovative work going on in rural school districts across the country to tailor education for all students and provide school leaders and teachers with key tools that support them in meeting students' needs.
The grantees were selected from 31 finalists, representing 80 school districts across 21 states. The Department received more than 200 applications for the competition.
"These winners serve as an example to the rest of the country for how to develop innovative plans to drive education reform and improve student achievement," U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. "These diverse, trailblazing districts have a clear vision and track record of success for models of personalized learning that aim for every child to graduate from high school ready for college and careers."
Consistent with the Department's plan to select high-quality proposals from applications across a variety of districts, the winners represent a range of districts, both rural and non-rural, from both Race to the Top states and non-Race to the Top states. These grantees complement the Department's efforts to increase support for schools across the country and provide educators and students with access to resources that equip them to deepen student learning through locally developed strategies.
Grantees were selected based on their vision and capacity for reform as well as a strong plan that provides educators with resources to accelerate student achievement and prepare students for college and their careers. Plans focused on transforming the learning environment so that it meets all students' learning abilities, making equity and access to high-quality education a priority. The program also offers competitive preference to applicants that form partnerships with public and private organizations to offer services that help meet students' academic, social, and emotional needs, outside of the classroom.
The list of 2013 Race to the Top-District (RTT-D) winners is attached and posted on the Department's website.
The Department has posted the list of districts that submitted an application on its website: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop-district/index.html. The list of 31finalists is also online: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop-district/2013-finalists.pdf.