In preparing to dole out $4.35 billion to states and school districts, President Obama today challenged school boards and others across the country to bring about education reforms.
President Obama joined Secretary Arne Duncan at the U.S. Department of Education today for a much anticipated event to outline the criteria for school districts and states to receive the remaining economic stimulus funds. Mike Resnick, associate executive director for advocacy represented NSBA at today’s important event. NSBA has been involved in ongoing conversations with the Department on school reforms, making sure the voice of school board members is heard.
Specifically, Obama unveiled some details of what states and school districts need to do to be eligible for the “Race to the Top” grants, the centerpiece of the Administration’s education reform.
“I am issuing a challenge to our nation’s governors, school boards, principals, teachers, and businesses…,” the President said. “If you set and enforce challenging standards and assessments, if you put outstanding teachers at the front of the classroom, if you turn around failing schools, you state can win a race to the top grant.”
To be eligible for the competitive funds, states must show assurances in four areas the Administration considers critical in bringing about reforms: Equitable distribution of highly qualified teachers among all districts; development and use of longitudinal data systems; turning around schools subject to corrective action or restructuring under NCLB; and improving the quality of academic assessments and standards, including those of students with disabilities.
Visit NSBA‘s Economic Stimulus Resource Center for updates. Also be sure to check out the Department’s draft guidance on “Race to the Top” funds and on applications for states to complete the second round of State Fiscal Stabilization Fund.