1st round of states for schools Race to the Top

Race to the Top for school reform  has been narrowed to 16 states. Oregon is not one of them. The 16 include: Colorado, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

The final 16 beat out 25 other states and earned the highest scores from the peer reviewers, who awarded points based on a 500-point grading scale that judged states’ commitments to improve teacher effectiveness, data systems, academic standards, and low-performing schools.

There were six broad categories with specific items in each for the 500 point scale. The categories and points were:
• State Success Factors- 12 points
• Standards and Assessments- 70 points
• Data Systems to Support- 47 points
• Great Teachers and Leaders – 138 points
• Turning Around the Lowest-Achieving Schools- 50 points
• General- 55 points
• Competitive Preference Priority- 15 points

At stake is $4 billion from the economic-stimulus package approved by Congress last year.

Each state will put a five-person team together to go to Washington, D.C. the week of Mar. 15 to present to peer previewers. Grades can be adjusted up or down based on the interviews. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will have the final say.

Winners will be announced in April. Losers can reapply by June 1 for Round Two; the final awards will be given out in September.

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