Georgia will receive $400 million as a winner in the “Race To The Top” competition.
Georgia officials were still awaiting the official news, but had been optimistic in recent weeks because of the state’s third-place finish in Round 1 of the competition.
Race to the Top has sparked a wave of reforms across the country, with states passing new teacher accountability policies and lifting caps on charter schools to boost their chances of winning. The aim of the historic program is to reward ambitious changes to improve schools and close the achievement gap.
News of Georgia’s win moved quickly in education circles.
“This is very exciting news for Georgia and for our public education system,” said Steve Dolinger, head of the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education. “We congratulate and offer our thanks to the state leaders who led our Race to the Top application process.”
Dolinger said: “With this money come a great opportunity and a huge challenge for our educational leaders. They must use every dollar wisely and stay focused on getting the most from this investment for the future of our young people. This award should be seen as a vote of confidence and an energizer to continue our move forward. It’s time to get to work.”
Gov. Sonny Perdue celebrated the state’s selection.
“While this has seemed more like a marathon at times, now the real race begins,” he said. “This is truly a unique opportunity to implement a Georgia-created plan that will accelerate our work in improving student achievement.”
According to the article, winners are supposed to focus on:
Adopting standards and assessments that prepare students to succeed in college and the workplace and to compete in the global economy.
Building data systems that measure student growth and success, and inform teachers and principals about how they can improve instruction.
Recruiting, preparing, rewarding and retaining effective teachers and principals, especially where they are needed most.
Turning around our lowest-achieving schools.