Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island and Washington, D.C., will receive grants, department spokesman Justin Hamilton said. The amounts for each state were expected to be announced later.
The aim of the historic program is to reward ambitious changes to improve schools and close the achievement gap. The competition instigated a wave of reforms across the country, as states passed new teacher accountability policies and lifted caps on charter schools to boost their chances of winning.
"Historic program." What a low bar for history. The feds just kicked more than $10 billion to education in flat-out stimulus money, which came on top of $100 billion released to the hounds in 2009. To the extent that reforms such as lifting charter school caps and holding teachers accountable for their work are happening, they were in the pipeline long before Race to the Top was even a twinkle in Arne Duncan's pants pocket. Expect to hear very little down the road about the long-term effects of this contest, as the larger waves of actual school reform (read: decentralization and parental choice) kick in due to actual discontent.