Friday, August 27, 2010

New York Wins Race to the Top Grant

Here's the NY announcement:


August 24, 2010, 10:47 am

New York Wins Race to the Top Grant


New York State has won as much as $700 million as part of a competitive federal education grant known as Race to the Top, federal officials said on Tuesday. The money comes after months of wrangling in the State Legislature and fights with the state and city teachers' unions.

Earlier this year, state lawmakers passed legislation to double the number of charter schools in the state to 460 to improve the state's chances at securing the money. The funds are meant to reward states that have embraced education reforms that federal officials believe will improve schools.

Like other states, New York also approved a plan that will allow local school districts to use student test scores in teacher evaluations, a practice teachers' unions have bitterly opposed for years. But local school officials will still have to negotiate with the union over the details of the evaluations.

The state is also expected to use the money to improve tracking systems to better measure how students improve from kindergarten through college. Officials have also vowed to improve state tests, which have become steadily easier to pass in the last several years.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein said in a statement that the awarding of the money was a vindication of their efforts.

"This win is a testament to what we've accomplished in the New York City schools over the last eight years, and we are going to work with our teachers and schools to raise the bar once again," Mr. Bloomberg said in a statement.

Chancellor Klein said: "Race to the Top has been a tremendous catalyst for precisely the kind of education reform we've supported and implemented in New York City; now it is up to all of us to live up to this commitment and continue the important work that got us here."

 Subscribe in a reader