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Calif. Won't Get 'Race to the Top' School Money

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ California is not among the 10 applicants that will receive money in the second round of the $4.35 billion “Race to the Top” school reform grant competition, federal education officials said Tuesday.

U.S. Department of Education spokesman Justin Hamilton said the winners are: Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island and Washington, D.C.

Tennessee and Delaware were named winners in the first round of the competition in March, sharing $600 million. The applicants named winners Tuesday will share a remaining $3.4 billion. Another $350 million is coming in a separate competition for states creating new academic assessments.

California had a chance to win as much as $700 million from the historic program, which is aimed at rewarding ambitious reforms to improve schools and close the achievement gap.

In the second and final round, 35 states and the District of Columbia applied for grants, and California was among the 18 states and the District of Columbia that were named finalists last month.

In the first round, California placed 27th among 41 states that submitted applications, even though state lawmakers approved a contentious package of school reform measures designed to make the state more competitive.

For the second round, the state formed a working group of seven superintendents representing some of California’s biggest school districts to help write a more detailed application.

The plan called for placing effective teachers and principals in low-performing schools, revamping state education standards, expanding the use of data to improve academic achievement and requiring teacher and principal evaluations to be based in part on student performance.

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