With the field narrowed to seven states, Colorado’s possible award from the “consolation” round of Race to the Top has risen to $17.9 million from $12.5 million.
The U.S. Department of Education announced Wednesday that seven states have submitted complete applications out the nine that were eligible (see release).
Jill Hawley, chief of staff and strategy for education Commissioner Robert Hammond, said Wednesday, “We’re obviously pleased that the amount has increased … but it’s not that much more that we see the direction of our application changing.”
This third round of R2T is kind of a consolation prize for states that failed to make the cut in the $3.3 billion second round last year, when Colorado lost its request for $175 million amidst questions about the quality of the judging. (Earlier, Colorado asked for $377 million in R2T’s first round, in which only two states won grants.)
There’s a lot less money on the table this time, with $200 million to be split among Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. California submitted an incomplete application, and South Carolina didn’t apply.
Colorado hopes to use the funds to help pay for design of a state model evaluation system. The other major use of the money would be to support the work of “content collaboratives,” groups of educators and experts that will develop methods for assessing student mastery of new state content standards, especially in subjects not tested by the statewide assessments in reading, writing, math and science.
That second part of the round three application is due by Dec. 16. “There’s still a pretty substantial application that we have to fill out,” Hawley said. A working draft of Colorado’s bid should be available the week of Dec. 5. Awards will be announced between Dec. 20 and the end of the year.