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Colorado's Race to the Top Phase 3 Grant Program

Advancing the State's Reform Agenda

In December 2011, Colorado was awarded a $17.9 million Race to the Top Phase 3 (RTTT) grant. The four-year grant is split evenly between the state and local education agencies (LEAs), with each receiving $8.9 million. The Race to the Top grant program is focused on four key areas: 1) building capacity to implement the state’s education reforms; 2) implementing the Colorado Academic Standards; 3) designing the state’s educator evaluation system; and 4) advancing Science, Technology, Education, and Math (STEM) education. Click here to read the news release.

View Colorado's submitted application (PDF)
(Updated February 9, 2012 - updates reflect refinements to performance measures and budget items; this document is the final submission to USED)

Race to the Top Components

High Quality Assessment and Instruction
This work focuses on engaging with the field to co-create resources and tools to help districts as they implement the Colorado Academic Standards (CAS) and aligned assessments. The work is led by the Colorado Content Collaboratives, a group of Colorado educators who are experts in the 10 content areas that comprise the CAS.  

Visit the Content Collaborative website here

Effective, Supported Educators
Race to the Top funds will augment work already underway and provide support, information and tools to districts as they work to implement comprehensive evaluation systems for teachers, principals and specialized service professionals.

Visit the Educator Effectiveness website here

Embedded, Innovative STEM Content
Colorado plans to use Race to the Top funds to support efforts to integrate and embed STEM across all content areas. RTT funds are being used to support a STEM in Action program that connects educators and students to the everyday work of scientists, engineers, high-tech workers, and researchers in Colorado's labs, universities, museums and companies. RTT funds are also used to convene cross-district meetings focused on engaging students through project-based learning opportunities and integrated curriculum.  

Visit the STEM website here

Strategic State Action and Support
The focus of the Race to the Top efforts at the state level is to ensure the grant's reform initiatives are integrated and coordinated with other reform efforts. CDE has created a Resource Bank containing assessment and instructional tools, and evaluation resources that is available to all districts and schools.

Visit the CDE Resource Bank here

STEM in Action Grant

The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) awarded four STEM in Action grants funded through Colorado’s Race to the Top Phase 3 work. The STEM in Action grant program provides opportunities for students and teachers to experience Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in Action by connecting educators and students to the everyday work of scientists, engineers, high-tech workers, and researchers in Colorado’s labs, universities, museums, and companies. Funding can be used to build the capacity of teachers to meaningfully connect STEM learning inside and outside of the classroom with the intent of creating partnerships between K-12 education, industry, and the community, including higher education. The goal of the grant program is to provide resources to inspire and prepare students historically underrepresented in STEM careers and/or students in rural areas.

The four awardees are:

  • Boulder Valley School District Re-4 (Mountain Schools)
  • Centennial BOCES
  • Lake County School District
  • Mountain Valley School District

For further information on the grantees, please go to CDE’s STEM website.

Additional Information

For additional informaiton, please contact Tricia C. Miller, Race to the Top Director at or 303-866-5735.

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Colorado Dept. of Education
201 East Colfax Ave.
Denver, CO 80203
Phone: 303-866-6600
Fax: 303-830-0793
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