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Education Department announces "Race to the Top" guidelines

WASHINGTON - July 24, 2009 -

The Education Department announced its guidelines for the $4.35 billion “Race to the Top” fund today, which spells out how states can apply to win grants for innovation in education. The program is part of the nearly $100 billion allotted to education as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

 The following can be attributed to NEA President Dennis Van Roekel:

“The Obama administration has continued to show its commitment to creating great public schools for every student, and educators around the country could not agree more with that goal. We are especially impressed by the administration’s willingness to listen and insist that the entire education community be involved in this process. As educators, we know that collaboration is key to transforming our schools and we look forward to continuing our dialogue with the administration.”

 “We are concerned with some of the details included in the draft proposals and encourage the Education Department to think more broadly about what it views as the basic tenets of a student’s educational experience. If we continue to focus narrowly on test scores, then students in need of the most support will continue to get more test prep rather than the rich, challenging, engaging education they deserve. Teachers should be evaluated on their practice using multiple criteria, not just one. 

 “We will analyze the details of the proposal and use the 30-day comment period to find common ground with the administration. While we may not agree on every tactic or proposal the department puts forward, our commitment to the end result could not be clearer. We want a great public school for every student in this country, and we know that it will take serious measures to achieve this goal.”

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional 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: Will Potter