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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Seattle in Group for District Race to the Top Money

I had let this fact get past me until I read a recent op-ed in the Times from Mary Alice Hershuel and Kip Herren, the superintendent of Renton public schools and the superintendent of the Auburn School district, respectively. 

We are working to find better ways to spread great practices and create a more permeable system of learning by relying on stronger engagement with parents, communities, businesses and support service organizations, and by making better use of online technology. 

The grant application will emphasize college and career readiness and personalized instruction. Parent involvement will be critical.  

We will also double down on improving science, technology, engineering and math, often called STEM, and make sure kids and families see the enormous career opportunities in our own backyard for young people with STEM skills. Each proposed investment will be viewed as a regional project, and close examination of data will be required.

The district had a press release in late August that said this:

The leaders of seven King County school districts announced today that they are joining forces to compete for up to $40 million in federal Race to the Top grant money.

The superintendents of Auburn, Federal Way, Highline, Kent, Renton, Seattle and Tukwila have committed to working together and with their communities to complete the grant application, which is due Oct. 30. This is the first time the federal Race to the Top competition has been open to districts; previously, the grants had only been offered to states. Awardees will be announced in December.

The seven districts actively work together as part of the Road Map Project, a region-wide effort to achieve dramatic improvement in student education from cradle to college. The project’s goal is to double the number of students in South Seattle and South King County who are on track to graduate from college or earn a career credential by 2020 and to close achievement gaps for low-income students and children of color.

The Road Map Project is being led by long-time activist and doer, Mary Jean Ryan, and has the blessing of the Gates Foundation.  ( What amazes me is that Gates doesn't do more of this.) 

The districts, which will submit their application under the name “The Road Map District Consortium,” intend to leverage the Road Map Project’s existing framework and action plans to jump-start the application development. The proposal will highlight the region’s partnerships with educators, early learning providers, community colleges, University of Washington, Seattle University, mayors, housing authorities, libraries and many other youth- and parent-serving community-based organizations.  

For more information and updates about the region’s Race to the Top application, go here: http://www.roadmapproject.org/collective-action/race-to-the-top/

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