The State of Delaware reached the next round in the Race to the Top competition being conducted by the U.S. Department of Education on Thursday, March 4, 2010.
The announcement was made by Education Secretary Arne Duncan.
"This is just one more step down a long and very competitive path for Race to the Top funding, but we are pleased to have this opportunity," said Delaware Gov. Jack Markell. "Even if there was no Race to the Top competition, we would be working to strengthen our public schools, prepare our children for the future and ensure quality teachers can succeed at their jobs. These efforts have broad support across the state and have happened because we – the state, schools, educators, the business community and others - have worked together to put children first."
The Race to the Top federal grant competition allowed for states to submit applications during two phases. Phase I applications were due on January 19, 2010. Forty states and the District of Columbia submitted applications for Phase I. The federal Department of Education chose Delaware, fourteen other states and the District of Columbia as the remaining states in consideration for funding in Phase I. States that do not receive funding or that did not apply during Phase I may submit applications for Phase II.
Delaware's application focuses on four assurances: strong standards and assessment, quality educators, robust data systems, and improving the low performing schools in the state. Last year, the Governor signed into law bills to give districts greater flexibility in funding and providing increased accountability for results. The State Board of Education passed regulations this year that improve assistance and support for schools that are persistently low performing and that reform educator evaluations by focusing on student improvement as a required element for an educator to be rated as “Effective.”
"For the past two decades, we have sought to make Delaware a national leader on education," said U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.). "Today’s news that Delaware has been chosen to go to the next level in this very competitive process is another positive for our state. I look forward to continuing to work with Governor Markell, Secretary Lowery and Delaware’s entire education team to ensure Delaware’s children have all the tools necessary to succeed."
The full application can be found at the following website: http://governor.delaware.gov/information/racetothetop.shtml