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Dept of Education Launches 2013 Race to the Top - District Competition

The United States Department of Education (DoE) has launched the 2013 Race to the Top - District competition, which will award nearly $120 million to school districts implementing "bold, locally directed improvements in learning and teaching that will directly improve student achievement and educator effectiveness."

The Race to the Top - District competition provides districts with 4-year awards ranging from $4 million to $30 million, depending on the population of students served through the district's plan. All districts are invited to apply for the competition, including those already in a state with a Race to the Top grant.

Selection criteria for winning districts include:

  • Plans for personalization of education for all students;
  • Vision and capacity for reform;
  • Strong plans that provide educators with resources to accelerate student achievement and prepare students for college and careers;
  • Plans that focus on transforming the learning environment to meet the needs of all students' learning abilities; and
  • Partnerships with public and private organizations that offer services to help meet students' academic, social, and emotional needs outside of the classroom.

The Race to the Top program first launched in 2009, and the DoE added the Race to the Top - District competition last year. The DoE awarded approximately $383 million to 16 districts representing 55 local educational agencies.

"The Race to the Top - District competition is an opportunity for trailblazing districts across the country to implement models of personalized learning so that every child graduates college and career ready," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, in a prepared statement. "The program is designed to support teachers and school leaders in their use of innovative strategies as we seek to build a stronger future for America's students."

Additional information and the application can be found on the Race to the Top - District competition's site.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at

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