Gov. Bev Perdue this weekend mailed North Carolina’s completed application for funds from the federal “Race to the Top” initiative. As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Race to the Top is a federal $4.5 billion competitive grant fund that rewards states for educational innovation and achieving significant improvements in student performance. North Carolina’s application requests approximately $469.5 million in federal funds to be spent over four years.
“As a national leader in educational innovation, I’m confident that North Carolina is in a good position to receive Race to the Top funding,” said Perdue. “I’m excited about the opportunities this funding will create toward reaching my goal of preparing every student to graduate high school ready for a career, college or technical training.”
North Carolina’s application, as required, assessed the state’s current education reform efforts and presented a comprehensive plan for improving student outcomes in four areas:
• Internationally-benchmarked standards and assessments;
• Development of data systems that measure success and improve instruction;
• Supporting effective teachers and leaders; and
• Turning around low-performing schools.
Gov. Perdue’s Career and College – Ready, Set, Go! agenda has North Carolina already working on higher standards, better curriculum, new diagnostic assessments to help keep students achieving at or above grade level, developing great teachers and school leaders, and improving low-performing schools.
According to the National Governors Association, Gov. Perdue is the first governor in the nation to direct state educational governing boards to adopt the National Common Core standards, so that they may work together to reach the goal of preparing every student to graduate from high school ready for a career, college or technical training.
The U.S. Department of Education is expected to award the first Race to the Top grants this spring.
Blog from Gov. Perdue: Race to the Top an example of statewide collaboration
Earlier this week, North Carolina submitted its application for the federal education program, “Race to the Top.” The program encourages states to be innovative and to look for new ways to achieve significant student improvement. Luckily for North Carolina, we are already an education innovation leader and I’m confident that we will be successful in receiving funds for our schools.
While we won’t get official word on funding from the federal government for some time, I don’t want us to lose sight of what we’ve already accomplished. The application process for Race for the Top was unprecedented. One hundred percent of local education agencies (LEAs) signed on to our application. That means every superintendent, school board chair and president of the local teachers association are in agreement with our plans for education in North Carolina – the plans laid out in my Career and College—Ready, Set, Go! agenda. This is a tremendous sign of the commitment state and local leaders share and I applaud this example of such statewide collaboration.
In addition, many leaders have signed letters of support on behalf of our state’s application. I’m proud to have education pioneers such as Gov. Jim Hunt and Judge Howard Manning standing behind our plans for North Carolina’s future.
That unanimity means that North Carolina’s education leadership is prepared to tackle the challenge of preparing every single student – no matter where he or she lives – to graduate from high school ready for a career, college or technical training. That’s no small feat, as it requires cooperation from all levels – schools, higher education, parents, local and state government.