Thursday, May 24, 2012

New Race, this one focused on learners

District-Level Race to the Top to Focus on the Classroom, Provide Tools to Enhance Learning and Serve the Needs of Every Student
2012 Competition Proposal Available for Public Comment Until June 8
Who can apply:
“The proposed 2012 program criteria invites applications from districts or groups of districts serving at least 2,500 students with 40 percent or more qualifying for free or reduced price lunch. Districts will choose to apply for funding to support learning strategies that personalize education in all or a set of schools, within specific grade levels, or select subjects.

“Eligibility, as outlined in the proposed criteria, will be determined by a district's demonstrated commitment to RTT's four core reform areas. ... Awards will range from $15 million to $25 million, depending on the population of students served through the plan.

“As proposed, applicants will be selected based on their vision and capacity for reform as well as a strong plan that provides classrooms and teachers with the resources to prepare students for college and career. Districts must effectively engage and collaborate with teachers, parents and outside organizations to create their plan and provide assistance to ensure a successful transition to proposed reforms. Plans will focus on transforming instruction so that it meets all students' learning abilities. Teachers will track and receive real-time data and information that helps them adapt their lessons and individualize instruction to accommodate the differences among their students."

Race to the Top's four core reform areas
  • Adopting standards and assessments that prepare students to succeed in college and the workplace and to compete in the global economy;
  • Building data systems that measure student growth and success, and inform teachers and principals about how they can improve instruction;
  • Recruiting, developing, rewarding, and retaining effective teachers and principals, especially where they are needed most; and
  • Turning around our lowest-achieving schools.

To read or comment on the Race to the Top district-level proposal:
Visit Public Comment ends June 8. The U.S. Department of Education plans to release the application in July with an October submission deadline. Awards will be announced no later than Dec. 31, 2012.

As usual, members are encouraged to get involved and share their insight with government officials. PTA promotes shared-decision making at all levels: Child-parent-teacher, school, district, state and federal.

Ramona Hattendorf
Government relations coordinator
Washington State PTA

REMINDER: Proposals for our new legislative platform are due JUNE 1
2012-13 Platform: Information & Proposal Form

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