New York State is among the winners in the Obama administration's Race to the Top Phase II program, awarding $696,646,000 in new education grants for the state. In the midst of these harsh economic times, this funding will ensure that New York's children are provided a better opportunity and improved access to quality education.
The Race to the Top state competition is funded by the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and is designed to reward states that are leading the way in comprehensive, coherent, statewide education reform across four key areas:
- Adopting standards and assessments that prepare students to succeed in college and the workplace;
- Building data systems that measure student growth and success, and inform teachers and principals how to improve instruction;
- Recruiting, developing, rewarding, and retaining effective teachers and principals, especially where they are needed most; and
- Turning around their lowest-performing schools.
This victory can be credited in part to the major education reforms recently enacted by the New York State legislators. Yet, without the commitment of President Barack Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan in recognizing that New York State is worthy of these vital dollars, we would be without this essential investment for our children's future. This is truly great news for families across the state!