The U.S. Department of Education released today the proposed requirements for Race to the Top round three (RTT3), a $200 million grant fund to continue State-led K-12 reform. RTT3 will invite finalists from round twoArizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and South Carolinato apply for a grant that supports a portion of their previously established Race to the Top plan and includes a meaningful focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.
"Through Race to the Top, these nine States helped lead the way in laying the groundwork for key education reform around the country," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. "We look forward to working with them in round three as they continue their work and transform their plans into significant investments that improve education for more students."
The suggested process for States to apply will require them to submit applications in twoparts. The first will include assurances demonstrating the State's commitment to education reform and maintaining its investment in education. Part two will include a detailed budget and narrative explaining which portion of their plan the State will pursue, describing how it will have the greatest overall impact on the their education system, and providing further details on activities their plan will support in an effort to improve STEM education in their State.
Beyond their RTT3 application, States will be expected to express a continued commitment toward the four key reform areas that frame the Race to the Top competition-
- Adopting standards and assessments that prepare students to succeed in college and the workplace;
- Building data systems that measure student growth and success, and inform teachers and principals how to improve instruction;
- Recruiting, developing, rewarding, and retaining effective teachers and principals, especially where they are needed most; and
- Turning around persistently lowest-performing schools.
Suggested awards sizes correspond with state population and final award amounts will be consistent with a State's plan. As proposed, Colorado, Louisiana, South Carolina and Kentucky are eligible to apply for up to $12.25 million; Arizona can apply for up to $17.5 million; Illinois, Pennsylvania and New Jersey are eligible for up to $28 million; and, California can apply for up to $49 million.
RTT3's nine eligible applicants are among a total of 46 states and the District of Columbia that put together comprehensive education reform plans to apply for Race to the Top in rounds one and two.
The $200 million available for round three was provided through the fiscal year 2011 appropriations bill passed by Congress in April. The Obama Administration has proposed to continue Race to the Top in the U.S. Department of Education's fiscal year 2012 budget and is seeking authority to develop a district-level competition.
Proposed requirements for RTT3 will be available in the federal register for public comment until October 11, a final application will follow. To read the proposed requirements or submit a comment, visit http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop/index.html.