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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 will focus on the creation of Content Collaboratives that engage educators in the identification of instructional materials and classroom-level assessments.

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 educator evaluation systems.

Embedded, Innovative STEM Content
Colorado plans to use Race to the Top funds to ensure STEM is integrated and embedded across all content areas and through teacher instruction and evaluation. RTTT funds will also be used to create a STEM in Action program that will connect educators and students to the everyday work of scientists, engineers, high-tech workers, and researchers in Colorado's labs, universities, museums and companies.

Strategic State Action and Support
The focus of the Race to the Top efforts will be to ensure the grant's reform initiatives are integrated and coordinated with other reform efforts. CDE will also create a Resource Bank containing assessment and instructional tools, and evaluation resources and available to districts and schools. 

LEA Annual Survey - 2014

The foundation of Colorado’s Race to the Top Phase 3 work is to provide support to districts as they work to implement state reforms. As part of our Race to the Top efforts we will be sending out a short survey every summer through the end of the Race to the Top grant. This survey allows us to gather information required for reporting on Race to the Top work to the US Department of Education. All districts participating in Race to the Top are required to complete this survey but we would appreciate it if non-participating districts provided this information, as well. Also, because this survey pertains to district practices, all districts – including those served by BOCES – need to complete the survey individually.

The survey consists of five multiple choice questions and should take about five minutes to complete. Because you may need to confer with others in your district in order to provide the requested information, we have posted the survey here.

If you have any questions about the survey or the Race to the Top grant, please contact Tricia Miller, Race to the Top Director at 303.866.5735 or via email at

Race to the Top - District Competition

The US Department of Education has released applications for the 2013 Race to the Top-District (RTT-D) competition. This competition is separate from the state Race to the Top program and is the sole responsibility of the districts applying for the grant.

The RTT-D competition is intended to support districts in implementing local education reforms that personalize instruction, close achievement gaps, and take full advantage of 21st century tools that prepare each student for college and careers.

Awards will range from $4 million to $30 million depending on the number of participating students served by the applicant. The Department expects to make five to 10 awards. Districts are asked to submit an intent to apply by August 23, 2013. Applications are due October 3, 2013. Awards will be announced in December 2013.

As part of the application process, each LEA included in an application must provide the State at least 10 business days to comment on the application. All districts applying for the RTT-D should submit their application to CDE by September 16, 2012. Please send applications to Tricia Miller, Race to the Top Director at

STEM in Action Grant

The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) recently awarded four STEM in Action grants funded through Colorado’s Race to the Top Phase 3 work.  The STEM in Action grant program is intended to provide 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.


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