A team from Pennsylvania including the superintendents of the Pittsburgh and Philadelphia School Districts makes its case Wednesday for federal "Race to the Top" funds to improve student achievement.
Pennsylvania is 1 of 19 finalists among the 42 applicants for the second round of funding. The Commonwealth finished 7th in the first round with Tennessee and Delaware receiving hundreds of millions of dollars for their proposals to increase achievement.
Pennsylvania's Acting Secretary of Education Thomas Gluck says there's a depth of commitment to the kind of reform the state is proposing from 122 school districts, 69 charter schools and their administrators and union leaders...."Having all those key players signed on at the outset, we'll be able to say to the Race to the Top committee you can count on Pennsylvania to deliver on programs we are committing to."
Gluck says their proposal is anchored by the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh School Districts..."Pittsburgh in particular with their $40 million in Gates grants and the work they've done in collaborating with teachers around a new teacher evaluation system, around new forms of compensation...all for the purpose of how can we better raise student achievement."
He says they are committing to very intense work in the 128 lowest achieving schools, getting down to the classroom level and working with teachers "to design instruction one student at a time that will raise that student's achievement level."
Gluck says the message that he wants the team to leave with the federal reviewers is that Pennsylvania is results driven and they're proud of their proposal..."I'm confident we're going to bring back $400 million for Pennsylvania. But even if that doesn't happen, we've made significant progress in developing a plan that will be good for the students and for the Commonwealth in the future.
The federal review team is expected to announce the winners of this round of funding in early September.