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Almost 900 school districts aim to improve instruction through funding
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 04, 2012 14:28 PM

Shortly after taking office in 2009, President Barack Obama announced the launch of the Race to the Top competition with the purpose of providing American students with a higher quality of education. Under the initiative, Schools across the country are eligible for funding as long as they meet specific criteria, including the adoption and implementation of the Common Core State Standards.

Recently, the U.S. Department of Education announced that 893 school districts plan to apply to the 2012 Race to the Top-District program. If these school systems are found to be eligible, they will receive a portion of the nearly $400 million that is reserved for their efforts to close achievement gaps and prepare students for college and the workforce.

This particular funding opportunity is designed specifically to promote positive changes at the classroom level. All applicants are required to show how they would personalize their instruction to best meet their students' academic needs.

"I believe the best ideas come from leaders at the local level, and the enthusiastic response to the Race to the Top-District competition highlights the excitement that districts have to engage in locally designed reforms that will directly improve student achievement and educator effectiveness," said Arne Duncan, the U.S. secretary of education.