Baltimore the biggest beneficiary of Race to the Top funds
Maryland had lots to celebrate Tuesday, when it received word that it was among the 10 awardees of federal Race to the Top funds, a $4.3 billion education competition held by the U.S. Department of Education to encourage education reforms across the nation. Maryland will receive $250 million in September, and will begin implementing reforms to boost student achievement, reduce achievement gaps among student subgroups, improve teaching and turn around struggling schools in the nation.
Baltimore will be among the districts leading those efforts.
The city stands to be the biggest beneficiary of the funds, receiving at least $46 million of the funds. Baltimore apparently played a critical role in the state's reform efforts because it hosts a minority population of approximately 92 percent and is home to approximately 52 percent of the state’s high-poverty schools.
In the state's proposal, the city was identified as a “critical partner for reform." And a release sent out by the city's school system yesterday shows that their checklists and checkbooks are ready. Read below to see what's in the works for the city's Race to the Top reforms:
According to the school system, the city will benefit from their share of the funds in the following ways:
• It is one of seven pilot districts for a new teacher evaluation system that will begin operating statewide in 2012-13 and, if teachers meet certain performance criteria, they could be eligible for additional dollars as soon as 2011-12.
• Starting this fall, its New Leaders for New Schools leadership training model will be expanded to train highly effective principals to lead urban schools. Currently, City Schools has 41 principals trained through New Leaders and eight assistant principals.
• Eleven of its schools will benefit from additional state attention and resources as part of the state’s commitment to turning around its 16 lowest achieving schools; of these 11 in Baltimore City, eight are schools that will embark on turnarounds this school year
What Race to the Top reforms are you most looking forward to ?