Federal Funding

Education Department Names Race to the Top Finalists

Extra Credit Secretary of Education Arne Duncan discusses Race to the Top and the 16 finalists.

The United States Department of Education Thursday announced finalists in the first phase of the Race to the Top competition.

Sixteen states were named as finalists out of 41 applicants. Finalists will be interviewed further before a final determination is made of who will receive Race to the Top funds.

The 16 finalists include Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

Race to the Top is focused on helping states boost student achievement. It will provide $4.35 billion to create incentives for states to develop "innovative" programs that can be replicated throughout the country. And, in general, it will be aimed at funding programs that satisfy the principles outlined in the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund, which include creating and saving jobs; ensuring transparency, reporting, and accountability; and improving student achievement through school improvement and reform.

In a video statement released today (sidebar), Duncan said that those states that did not make the finals are encouraged to come back and apply in the second round, the applications for which will be due in June. He also indicated that there may be a third round of funding, should the $1.35 billion request in the President's 2011 budget proposal make it through Congress.

The final winners will be named in April. Further information about Race to the Top an be found here.

About the Author

David Nagel is the former editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal, STEAM Universe, and Spaces4Learning. A 30-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art, marketing, media, and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidrnagel/ .