New York lost its bid for roughly $700 million in first round of the federal Race to the Top competition after the U.S. Education Department today awarded grants to Delaware and Tennessee.
New York was one of 40 states that competed for a share of the $4.35 billion Race to the Top competition.
"We received many strong proposals from states all across America, but two applications stood out above all others: Delaware and Tennessee," said U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan. "They have written new laws to support their policies. And they have demonstrated the courage, capacity and commitment to turn their ideas into practices that can improve outcomes for students."
Gov. David Paterson and charter school advocates criticized the state Legislature in January for failing to adopt education reforms and raise the cap on charter schools before the Race to the Top application deadline.
Duncan said in January that at least a dozen states showed their commitment to reform by enacting laws that protect or permit more charter schools. Several states also eliminated barriers that will lead to better teacher evaluations. New York was not one of them.
New York was expected to receive roughly $700 million had it won the first round of Race to the Top grants. Delaware will receive $100 million and Tennessee will get $500 million to implement comprehensive school reform plans over the next four years.
After distributing money for the first two winners, the U.S. Department of Education will have about $3.4 billion available for the second phase, which is expected to be awarded this fall.
"We set a very high bar for the first phase," Duncan said. "With $3.4 billion still available, we're providing plenty of opportunity for all other states to develop plans and aggressively pursue reform."
New York had made the list of 16 finalists in the first round.
The Race to the Top competition has four primary goals: adopting standards and assessments that prepare students to succeed in college and the workplace; building data systems to 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 the lowest-performing schools.