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NEA applauds selection of Race to the Top winners

Department of Education sends clear message that collaboration of all stakeholders is key


WASHINGTON - March 29, 2010 -

The U.S. Department of Education today announced the first round of winners for the Race to the Top competitive grant program. The following statement can be attributed to National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel:

“In announcing today’s winners of the Race to the Top program, the Department of Education is sending a clear message that collaboration among all stakeholders is essential if we are serious about improving our schools. With this first round selection, the department also is signaling that states must have collaborative partnerships and comprehensive plans that demonstrate high standards if their applications will be considered viable in future phases of the Race to the Top program. 

“Educators are key partners in any successful effort to turn around low-performing schools.  You can’t build a good plan that will yield long-lasting, sustainable results that are positive for students and their schools without having buy-in from all stakeholders. By selecting Delaware and Tennessee’s proposals—two states that submitted highly collaborative and comprehensive plans—the administration did what was right for students.

“Unfortunately, the Race to the Top competition does not address the pressing needs of students in all states.  For Delaware and Tennessee, it is only a stopgap effort for the sustained funding those states need. For the other 48 states that did not receive any funding, their financial situations are still just as bleak.  The competition cannot comprehensively take on the looming problems of fiscal inequity among America’s public schools or systemically improve our nation’s schools.

“America’s students need more than a program that only rewards a few throughout the country, and that is why it is vital that the administration and Congress move forward to revamp and reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.”

More information on NEA’s position on reauthorization of ESEA can be found online at www.nea.org/esea.   Follow us on twitter at www.twitter.com/NEAMedia.

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The National Education Association is the nation's largest professional employee organization, representing 3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: Staci Maiers  (202) 822-7150, smaiers@nea.org