Yesterday was the deadline for states to apply for the second round of the Race to the Top grants and the number of applications was down to 36 from 41 in round one. Grants from this fund will be awarded to states that “have raised student performance in the past and have the capacity to accelerate achievement gains with innovative reforms.” In their applications states must outline their plans for reform in these four areas: college- and career-ready standards and assessments, highly effective educators, data systems that support student achievement, and turning around their lowest-performing schools. States will also get competitive preference if they have a comprehensive STEM plan in place.
There is $3.4 billion available to states in this phase of the completion, and 10 to 15 states could win grants. The winners will be announced by the end of September. The Department of Education awarded a total of $600 million to round one winners Delaware and Tennessee in March.