Pennsylvania has missed out on 400 million dollars worth of federal education grant money. The federal “Race to the Top” grants are competitively awarded. The Obama Administration is trying to spur innovation and reform by pitting states’ applications against each other.
Delaware and Tennessee won the first round of bidding, and will receive a combined total of a bit more than 600 million dollars.
Pennsylvania finished 7th out of 41 states.
Governor Ed Rendell says the administration’s 400-million dollar program would have extended the school day in order to allow teachers to tailor their educational strategies.
"There was time for teachers to meet and discuss individual students. Well how’s Johnny Jones doing in your class? What are some of his strengths, what are some of his weaknesses? Teachers could discuss Johnny Jones as an individual, and determine the best line of attack to help Johnny Jones improve his skills."
The plan would also create two weeks of teacher and administrator planning sessions in August, before the school year begins. There are still more than three billion dollars of “Race to the Top” funds to dole out, and Rendell says he’s confident Pennsylvania’s application will succeed in the next round of bidding in September.