The U. S. Department of Education announced today the first-fun finalists for the Federal Race to the Top competition. Tennessee was among 14 other states and the District of Columbia to be chosen from 41 applicants for the federal funds.
“I’m very pleased we’ve been named a finalist for the first round of funding, and believe that’s due to our shared commitment to making significant and meaningful improvements to K-12 education,” said Bredesen in a statement from his office in Nashville. “Tennessee is considered competitive in Race to the Top by national education reform experts because of the continued efforts we’ve demonstrated to public education reform. I want to thank the General Assembly, which adopted further landmark education reform legislation earlier this year with the support of the Tennessee Education Association and educators across the state. I have no doubt this was a significant part of our success.”
According to the U. S. Department of Education, states applying for a portion of the $4.35 billion in federal funds available in phase 1 of the program were ask to document:
past education reform successes,
plans to extend reforms using college and career-ready standards and assessments,
how the state intends to build a workforce of highly effective educators,
what plans the state intends to create to develop educational data systems to support student achievement,
as well as plans to turn around their lowest-performing schools.
Tennessee will now have to assemble a 5-person team to send to Washington D.C. the week of March 15. This team will present the state's case to a board of peer reviewers who will adjust applicants scores before the final review. Tennessee is applying for more than $500 million dollars in Race to the Top funds.
In addition to Tennessee, the finalists are Colorado, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina