On August 24, 2010 U.S Department of Education (USDE) Secretary Arne Duncan announced 10 winners out of the 19 finalists in the second round of the Race to the Top competition. The winners will share the $3.4 billion remaining in the Race to the Top fund after the first round. According to the August 24th USDE press release, the 10 winning applicants “have adopted rigorous common, college-and career-ready standards in reading and math, created pipelines and incentives to put the most effective teachers in high-need schools, and all have alternative pathways to teacher and principal certification.” These efforts reflect the applicants’ attention to the key areas of education reform specified in USDE’s Race to the Top application guidelines and President Obama’s Blue Print for Reform published in March 2010.
The list of the winners below, in rank order, is taken from the USDE press release as posted on the USDE website (www.ed.gov) and includes the projected maximum award for each winning applicant. The final award amounts are anticipated in a few days.
Massachusetts $250 million
New York $700 million
Hawaii $ 75 million
Florida $700 million
Rhode Island $ 75 million
District of Columbia $ 75 million
Maryland $250 million
Georgia $400 million
North Carolina $400 million
Ohio $400 million
A peer review team of education experts reviewed and scored each Race to the Top application based on over 30 criteria including the adoption of common academic standards, improving data systems, and improving teacher and principal effectiveness. The maximum score was 500 points. Massachusetts had the highest score with 471 points and Hawaii was the applicant with the largest score increase, 97.8 points, over its score in the first round. Maryland is the only winner in the second round that did not apply in the first round. As reported on August 25, 2010 in separate articles in Education Week online, some finalists in the second round that did not win awards, such as Illinois, Louisiana and New Jersey, have expressed the intent to move forward with their respective reform proposals even without the Race to the Top award.
In the first round of the Race to the Top competition there were only two winners out of 41 applicants - Tennessee won $500 million and Delaware won $100 million. In the August 24th USDE press release Secretary Duncan stated that USDE “had many more competitive applications than money to fund them in the second round.” He stated that USDE has requested $1.35 billion in next year’s budget for a third round of the Race to the Top competition. Secretary Duncan pointed out that, in addition to the $4.3 billion Race to the Top fund, USDE supports education reform by providing resources through the Investing in Innovation (i3) Fund, the Teacher Incentive Fund, and the School Improvement Grants under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. In total, USDE expects to distribute almost $10 billion to support education reform in states and local communities.