The U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced a new Race to the Top District (RTT-D) competition that is aimed at the classroom level with a focus on the relationship between teachers and students. The competition offers nearly $400 million in grants and invites school districts to create plans for individualized classroom instruction aimed at closing achievement gaps and preparing each student for college and a career. The 2012 competition proposal will be available for public comment until June 8, and ED plans to release the application in July with an October submission deadline. Awards will be announced by December 31, 2012, the statutory deadline. The Department will waive rulemaking for this new program, pursuant to its authority in the General Education Provisions Act.
The Race to the Top state competition, created to incentivize bold and comprehensive reform in elementary and secondary education, laid the foundation for unprecedented innovation. A total of 46 states and the District of Columbia put together comprehensive plans to implement standards for preparing students to be college- and career-ready, use data systems to guide teaching and learning, evaluate and support teachers and school leaders, and turn around their lowest-performing schools. According to ED, the RTT-D competition will build on the lessons learned from the state-level competitions and support bold, locally directed improvements in teaching and learning that will directly improve student achievement and teacher effectiveness.
For more information, visit ED's website or contact Catherine D. Clarke, ASHA's director of education and regulatory advocacy, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 800-498-2071, ext. 5611.