Secretary Duncan and the Department of Education announced a new Race to the Top District competition today, one that is aimed squarely at the classroom level with a focus on the relationship between teachers and students.
The proposed competition offers nearly $400 million in grants and invites school districts to create plans for individualized classroom instruction aimed at closing achievement gaps and preparing each student for college and career.
“Race to the Top supports states that raise standards, build better data systems, evaluate and support principals and teachers, and dramatically transform their lowest-performing schools,” Duncan said during today’s announcement. “It also supports the development of new and better assessments aligned with high standards.”
The new competition asks districts “to show us how they can personalize and individualize education for a set of students in their schools,” Duncan noted. “We need to take classroom learning beyond a one-size-fits-all model and bring it into the 21st century.”
The proposal offers competitive preference to applicants that form partnerships with public and private organizations to sustain their work and offer services that help meet students academic, social, and emotional needs, and enhance their ability to succeed.
The 2012 competition proposal will be available for public comment until June 8, and the Department plans to release the application in July with an October submission deadline. Awards will be announced by the end of the year.