Jan. 28, 2010
Today I filmed an episode of "Colorado State of Mind" with Lt. Gov. Barbara O'Brien, Jane Urschel from the Colorado Association of School Boards and Superintendent of Pueblo City Schools Kathy West, who joined us via video conferencing. The host of the show and interviewer was Cynthia Hessin.
The focus of the show was to provide an update on our Race to the Top application and discuss next steps. Our application was submitted to the U.S. Department of Education last week. We officially joined 40 other states in the federal competition that could bring $377 million to our state.
Race to the Top is a $4.35 billion fund available
from the U.S. Department of Education. It is one of the
sources of funds available to states for preschool through postsecondary education systems through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. States that are interested in competing for a portion of the funds will be required to submit a proposal to the U.S .Department of Education.
The application was a collaborative effort from more than 600 people. We had 132 school districts sign on to participate. "Attaining Race to the Top funding will help us further implement what is already in place," said O'Brien. The two main focuses of the application are to change the way students learn and the way teachers teach and to track teacher performance.
Superintendent West pointed out, "Our state has been moving in this direction for a number of years."
The decision regarding the first round of applications will be determined by March 1. If selected, we may be invited to go to Washington, D.C. to sit with a team of scorers and defend our application. If Colorado is not selected in this first round, we will be able to strengthen our proposal and submit it in the fall for round two of the process. Money for Race to the Top will be distributed in the summer for round one and in the fall or winter for round two.
Colorado State of Mind aired Friday, Jan. 29 at 7:30 p.m. on Rocky Mountain PBS. For more information visit www.rmpbs.org