New Jersey will receive $38 million in a third round of federal Race to the Top grants that are designed to advance targeted K-12 reforms aimed at improving student achievement, the U.S. Department of Education announced last week.
A total of seven states (including Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana and Pennsylvania) will receive a share of the total $200 million that was available in Round Three of the Race to the Top funding.
Districts May Apply Half of New Jersey’s share, or $19 million, will go to participating districts. Any district in the state will be able to apply to participate in the award. The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) announced that it will provide details on the process for districts to participate later this month.
The other half of New Jersey’s share will be used by the NJDOE to support four objectives of the state’s education reform agenda:
- Develop a model curriculum and assessments for all core content subject areas
- Develop an online Instructional Improvement System (IIS) that will serve as a platform for teachers to access the model curriculum and other supports like formative assessments and instructional tools
- Implement the current teacher evaluation pilot program and the creation of a principal evaluation pilot program
- Expand high-quality school options by strengthening the state Department of Education’s charter authorizing practices
Focus Areas Roughly two-thirds of the state’s allocation of funding will go toward the model curriculum and the online Instructional Improvement System, according to the NJDOE’s Dec. 23 announcement.
In November, the NJDOE outlined a plan to develop a model K-12 math and English curriculum by September 2012, and align all subjects with the state’s Core Curriculum Content Standards by September 2013.