Ohio wins Race to the Top Round 2

The Columbus Education Association is proud to announce that our signing on to Ohio’s Race to the Top (RttT) grant application helped the state win $400 million. The Columbus City Schools will receive $20.5 million over the next four years.

The competitive grant was designed to promote reform across four key areas:
* Adopting standards and assessments that prepare students to succeed in college and the workplace
* Building data systems that measure student growth and success and informing teachers and principals how to improve instruction
* Recruiting, developing, rewarding and retaining effective teachers and principals, especially where they are needed most
* Turning around their lowest-performing schools

Ten states won this time. Each has adopted rigorous common college- and career-ready standards in reading and math and have created pipelines and incentives to put the most effective teachers in high-needs schools. Additionally, all second-round winners developed alternative pathways to teacher and principal certification.

The next step is planning the specifics the grant will address. The Reform Panel will act as the transformation team to oversee the RttT program. Management and labor have committed to work collaboratively through the collective bargaining process to address areas of the RttT program that differ from the contract. The deadline for the plan is November 2010.

Ohio has a great strategy for public schools–the Ohio Education Opportunity Act, also known as House Bill 1. RttT dollars now give us the chance to implement that vision at a faster pace than without this funding.

OEA staff will provide technical assistance and consulting advice to CEA as we strive within our school community to use RttT dollars wisely.

OEA President Patricia Frost-Brooks said at the press conference: “I want to congratulate everyone who worked on Ohios application. This will truly help all of us move our public education system from fifth to first in the nation.”

Ohio is a finalist for the second round of Race to the Top

Ohio was one of 36 states that submitted an application to the second round of the United States Department of Education’s Race to the Top (RttT) competitive grant program. The Department recently announced that due to the strength of its application, Ohio was one of 18 states and the District of Columbia that earned RttT finalist status. This marks the second time Ohio has earned finalist status for RttT. The Columbus Education Association and Columbus City Schools were co-signatories on Ohio’s first and second round RttT applications.

Ohio’s RttT pitch team is expected to give their presentation to a panel of judges during the week of Aug. 9 in Washington, D.C. Ohio’s first round pitch team included Governor Ted Strickland, State Supt. Deborah Delisle, CCS Supt. Gene Harris, Deputy State Supt. Marilyn Troyer and Jim Mahoney, Executive Director of Battelle for Kids. Education Secretary Arne Duncan will announce RttT winners in early September.

In Franklin County, a total of 11 school districts signed on to the state’s RttT application.  They include: Bexley, Columbus, Canal Winchester, Dublin, Grandview Heights, Groveport Madison, Hiliard, Reynoldsburg, Upper Arlington, Whitehall and Worthington. Only five districts declined to join the state’s application, including: Gahanna, Hamilton Local, New Albany, South-Western and Westerville.

Ohio has asked for $400 million from the federal government to implement the reforms outlined in the state’s application. Columbus City Schools could receive more than $20 million if Ohio’s proposal is accepted by the federal government.

NEA President Dennis Van Roekel delivers 2010 NEA RA Keynote

NEA President Dennis Van Roekel delivers his keynote address at the 2010 RA. Image: NEA Public Relations

National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel delivered his keynote address to more than 8,100 delegates at the 2010 NEA Representative Assembly (NEA RA) in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Calling the time since the last NEA RA meeting a “tough year”, Van Roekel admitted to being inspired by the historic inauguration of Barak Obama.

“Yes, we were ready for change, and we had hope.” said Van Roekel. “A few things got in the way of that hope and the change.”

He went on to cite the economic crisis, a “freefall of confidence in American institutions” and “the way the politics of anger distorted the politics of promise.”

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