|For Immediate Release|
|Monday, March 29, 2010|
|Contact:||Jonathan Palumbo 617-979-8348 or JC Considine 781-338-3112|
Massachusetts to Continue Pursuit for Race to the Top Education Funds
MA was one of 16 finalists considered; Only two states selected for funding in Round 1
BOSTON - Massachusetts officials today announced they will begin work to re-submit the state's application for federal Race to the Top education funds following the U.S. Department of Education's announcement that only two states were awarded funds in Round 1 of the program.
Today's announcement of $600 million for Delaware and Tennessee represents only a small portion of the $4.35 billion total available through the Race to the Top (RTTT) program. Massachusetts and other states will have another opportunity to secure funding during Round 2. Submissions are due on June 1 and winners will likely be announced in September.
Massachusetts was one of 41 states to apply for funding in January and was one of only 16 selected as finalists.
"We will thoroughly review all of the feedback that we receive and apply valuable lessons learned from the application and interview process to our updated application for Round 2," said Education Secretary Paul Reville. "As recent scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress demonstrated, we are still number one in the national on student achievement where we have been for some time, and we are committed to staying there. We remain determined to win Race to the Top funds which will help us accelerate our progress."
"We knew all along that this would be a competitive process, and that ours was not the only strong application submitted," said Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester. "I am hopeful that we will be successful in Round 2, but regardless of the final outcome, we have benefitted from this process. We have a bold, forward-thinking plan that will help define our work going forward."
Superintendents, school committee chairs and union presidents in more than 250 districts and charter schools, representing more than two-thirds of the state, endorsed the application and agreed to implement the initiatives outlined in the state's RTTT plan. In all, these represent 72 percent of K-12 students across the Commonwealth and 86 percent of the state's low-income students.
Each of these communities have committed to participating in efforts to:
- Develop and retain an effective, academically capable, diverse and culturally competent educator workforce
- Develop curricular and instructional resources that support educator effectiveness with all students
- Concentrate great instruction and supports for educators, students and families in our lowest performing schools
- Increase the focus on college and career readiness for all students.
Massachusetts is already engaged in much of the reform work outlined in the original proposal and will refine the plan to ensure that the conditions are in place to improve the school experience for all children and help them achieve success in college and career.
Massachusetts' full Race to the Top application is posted at www.doe.mass.edu/arra.