Rhode Island Awarded Race to the Top Funds
Published on August 24, 2010
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced today that Rhode Island is one of the second round winners of the federal Race to the Top competition. The award will help Rhode Island fund enhancements to STEM education efforts and dramatically accelerate overall student achievement by strengthening our teachers and leaders, and the systems that support them. Through the competition, states are rewarded for embracing bold, actionable changes in areas such as expanding charter schools, tying yearly teacher evaluations to student test scores and making academic standards more rigorous.
Race to the Top is a $4.3‚?źbillion competitive‚?źgrant program designed to encourage and reward states that have demonstrated success in raising student achievement and that have the best plans to accelerate future reforms. In March, the U.S. Department of Education awarded Round 1 funds to only two states, Delaware and Tennessee. STAC Executive Director Christine Smith served as a Member of the Race to the Top Steering Committee and helped guide development of the STEM initiatives in the successful application.
‚??Although we have a long way to go to achieve our goals for student achievement in mathematics and science, Rhode Island has laid the groundwork for improvement with our strong STEM initiatives,‚?Ě said Deborah A. Gist, Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education. ‚??Through inquiry-based instruction like the Nautilus Live Initiative for deepwater exploration, many of our students are not just learning science ‚?? they are becoming scientists! We will continue working with our partners on the Science & Technology Council to develop top-quality science teachers, to provide excellent training and support for our educators, and to provide our students with a multitude of opportunities to become the best in the world in math, science, and technology.‚?Ě