According to this New York Times article, Arne Duncan announced that nearly $200 million dollars in education grants has been awarded to several states that narrowly missed out on the Race to Top funds distributed last year. Congratulations are due to Illinois, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana and Kentucky. As the Times reports, “The states were awarded the grants to improve student achievement with plans that include developing teacher and principal evaluation systems and expanding studies in science, technology, engineering and math.”
It’s great to see these seven states join the other fourteen that have already received Race to the Top funds. In a time when state officials are faced with the challenge of improving student achievement while reducing state education spending, it’s encouraging to see the availability of these federal funds being utilized, particularly with an emphasis toward STEM education.