SOE News

North Carolina among finalists for Race to the Top competition

On March 16, five people presented North Carolina’s Race to the Top proposal to the U.S. Department of Education review panel and answered questions about the proposal. The North Carolina team consisted of Gov. Beverly Perdue, State Board Chair Bill Harrison, State Superintendent June Atkinson, Executive Director of the North Carolina Association of School Administrators Bill McNeal, and Glenn Kleiman, who led the proposal development for North Carolina. The outcome of this round of competition for Race to the Top funds is expected to be announced in early April.

North Carolina’s Race to the Top proposal has advanced to the final round of competition for funds from the U.S. Department of Education. The proposal was developed by a large team of people that included several participants from the School of Education: Dean Bill McDiarmid, faculty members Kathleen Brown and Lynne Vernon-Feagans; doctoral student Trip Stallings; and Melissa Thibault and Ross White of LEARN NC.   

The proposal development was led by Dr. Glenn Kleiman, executive director of the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at North Carolina State University, in collaboration with State Superintendent June Atkinson, State Board Chair Bill Harrison, and Myra Best, the Governor’s educational policy advisor.  

Through Race to the Top, the U.S. Department of Education has set aside $4.35 billion to re-shape America’s educational system. The Department is asking states to adopt reforms related to standards and assessment, data systems, recruitment and retention of effective teachers and principals, and assistance for the lowest-achieving schools.

“Awards in Race to the Top will go to States that are leading the way with ambitious yet achievable plans for implementing coherent, compelling and comprehensive education reform,” according to the U.S. Department of Education’s Web site.

Forty-one proposals were submitted in January. Sixteen of those have been selected as finalists.

The finalists will go to Washington, D.C., in mid-March to present their proposals to a review panel and to engage in discussion with the reviewers. The winners will be announced in April.

Subsequently a second phase of competition for Race to the Top funds will be conducted, with applications due in June, finalists announced in August and winners in September. All states will be eligible to apply in phase two except for those that received awards in phase one.