16 applicants representing over 50 school districts across 11 states and the District of Columbia have been declared the winners of the U.S. Department of Eduation’s 2012 Race to the Top district competition. The winners will share nearly $400M to support locally developed plans to personalize and improve learning, achievement, and educator effectiveness.
“Districts have been hungry to drive reform at the local level, and now these winners can empower their school leaders to pursue innovative ideas where they have the greatest impact: in the classroom,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in a prepared statement. “The Race to the Top-District grantees have shown tremendous leadership though developing plans that will transform the learning environment and enable students to receive a personalized, world-class education.”
The 2012 Race to the Top-District grantees will receive four-year awards that range from $10 million to $40 million, depending on the number of students served through the plan. The winning applicants were the top scorers among the 372 applications the Department received in November, which were evaluated and scored by independent peer reviewers. Grantees represent a diverse set of districts, including applicants from both states that received a Race to the Top state grant as well as those that have not received Race to the Top state funding.
“Since the day he took office, President Obama has been laser-focused on the goal of ensuring that every child has access to a quality education,” said Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, Cecilia Muñoz. “Race to the Top exemplifies this commitment and marks an historic moment in American education, raising the bar and improving outcomes for schools across the United States.”
Race to the Top-District plans are tailored to meet the needs of local communities and feature a variety of strategies, including: using technology to personalize learning for each student; giving students opportunities to learn beyond the traditional school day and environment; supporting students’ transitions throughout their education, including from high school to college and careers; expanding partnerships with community organizations to provide students with targeted social services like crisis intervention, individual counseling and life enrichment opportunities; and providing professional development and coursework options to deepen learning in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.
For more information about the Race to the Top-District program, including a list of winners, requested award amounts and additional materials, visit the Department’s website.