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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Florida a finalist for Race to the Top grants



UPDATE: Florida is one of 16 finalists for the money. The U.S. Department of Education announced the finalists on its Web site a few minutes ago. Story here.

Already, the lengthy list of finalists is drawing criticism. To quote Fordham Foundation's Mike Petrilli:

"Arne Duncan has spent a year saying that he was going to keep the bar high. But really? New York, which failed to pass a slew of reforms last month? Kentucky, without a charter school law? Ohio? ... This is a sad day for reformville."


U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has called a press conference for 2:30 p.m. today, at which time he will announce the finalists for the Obama administration's $4.35 billion Race to the Top education reform grant.

There will be "a lot more losers than winners," Duncan told Congress on Wednesday.

Florida is widely expected to be among the finalists.

The latest to say so is Grover J. Whitehurst, who served in the Education Department under George W. Bush. Whitehurst told Bloomberg News that Florida, Louisiana and Tennessee may prevail because of their use of technology to track student achievement over time.

Florida has applied for more than $1 billion from the fund. We'll be on the press call this afternoon and will bring you the news when it happens.


[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:52am]


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