The U.S. Department of Education today announced that New Jersey has
been selected as a winner of its Race to the Top 3 grant competition.
New Jersey will receive $38 million in federal funds, half of which will
go to participating districts, and half of which will be used to support
the state's bold education reform agenda.
The US Department of Education today announced that New Jersey has been
selected as a winner of its Race to the Top 3 grant competition. New
Jersey will receive $38 million in federal funds, half of which will go
to participating districts, and half of which will be used to support
the state's bold education reform agenda.
Governor Christie said, "New Jersey is on a path of bold education
reform, and over the past two years we have taken significant steps to
ensure that every child in New Jersey, regardless of zip code, will
graduate from high school ready for college and career. This award
today will help give educators in New Jersey the tools they need to be
successful and the support to meet our reform agenda goals."
As part of its Race to the Top 3 application, New Jersey selected four
objectives in line with the administration's education reform agenda:
Development of model curriculum and assessments for all core content
Development and rollout of 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
Implementation of the current teacher evaluation pilot program and the
creation of a principal evaluation pilot program
Expansion of high-quality school options by strengthening the
Department's charter authorizing practices Of these funds, roughly
two-thirds of the state's allocation will be spent on the development of
model curriculum and IIS. Last month, the New Jersey Department of
Education (NJDOE) outlined a plan to develop model curriculum for math
and English language arts in K-12 by September 2012, and all subjects
aligned with New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards by September
2013. This curriculum would consist of six week units of student
learning objectives tied to the Common Core State Standards, with a bank
of aligned formative assessments and instructional resources. These
resources would be optional for all teachers to use as a resource, but
may be required for the state's persistently failing schools if they do
not otherwise have high-quality curriculum. Focusing such a large
portion of RTT3 funds on these areas is another indication of the
NJDOE's investment in providing high-quality tools to educators to
implement high standards for all students.
"This injection of funding will have a transformative impact on teachers
and students across the state and allow us to aggressively pursue
important pieces of our reform agenda, such as implementing the Common
Core State Standards. These revolutionary new standards are aligned
with college- and career-readiness and will change the way we prepare
students for the 21st century. Over the past month, we have heard a
groundswell of support from districts across the state for this type of
model curriculum to ensure that the Common Core State Standards move
from a concept in Trenton to a tool for every classroom in the state,"
said Acting Commissioner Cerf.
Any district in the state will have the ability to sign up to
participate in the Race to the Top 3 award, and 50 percent of the award,
or $19 million, will be split between those districts that choose to
participate. In January, the NJDOE will provide details on the process
for districts to participate.
"From day one of the Christie administration, New Jersey has embarked on
a bold education reform agenda and has already begun to execute on a
number of the projects included in our Race to the Top applications.
This includes the development of a new teacher evaluation framework; the
development of a new school accountability system and the development of
seven Regional Achievement Centers that will provide targeted assistance
to help turn around the state's persistently lowest-performing schools,"
said Acting Commissioner Cerf. "On top of this, we have restructured
the entire state Department of Education around the four building blocks
of success that will have the biggest impact on student achievement:
academics, performance and accountability, talent, and innovation. This
award today will help us to accelerate the tide of reform across New