The winners of the second round of Race to the Top were announced. They are; the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, and Rhode Island. (Washington State was 32 out of 36. Ouch.)
From ABC news online:
Common threads among the 10 winners announced today include their bold approaches to turning around low-performing schools and their teacher evaluations systems. All of the winners also adopted common academic standards.
The 10 winners were decided based on the scores they received from peer-review panels. All the winners received a score of more than 440 out of a possible 500. In the first phase of the competition, only the two winners, Delaware and Tennessee scored above 440.
I was watching this on the national news and Colorado's governor was complaining that no state west of Tennessee won except Hawaii. He seemed to think there was some bias in there. From ABC news online:
Education experts, however, question why certain states did not make the final cut.
"I think it's a disaster for the administration that Louisiana and Colorado are not on the list. Some very mediocre states got funded and some of the leading states for education reform did not," said Mike Petrilli of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute.
Rick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute agreed.
"I think the exclusion of Louisiana and Colorado suggest legitimate concern over the way the program was conceived, the criteria that was designed and the judging that was executed," he said is a written statement.
Although Colorado and Louisiana are often praised for their reform and innovation, both states failed to get widespread union support for their proposals.
"The dynamic here is the unions are going to be able to claim that they beat this in Colorado and they won a victory," Petrilli said.
Duncan seems happy with just better scores from the states on their application (wait till he sees better test scores).
"We've unleashed this amazing creativity and innovation at the local level," he said. "The amount of reform we saw before round one was amazing, but then again to see so much movement between round one and round two, the average state improving their score by more than 30 points."