Connecticut learned today that it is not among the 19 finalists in the second round of federal Race to the Top (RTTT) grant funding.
The second round finalists announced by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan are Arizona, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and South Carolina.
The U.S. Department of Education’s July 27 announcement comes after education stakeholder groups, CEA, state legislators, and the State Department of Education came together to craft a bold new education reform law. Teachers and education officials had hoped that the reforms contained in the new law would strengthen the state’s application.
“Not all of the states in Race to the Top sought the degree of buy-in and collaboration that Connecticut achieved,” said CEA Executive Director John Yrchik. “In fact, some of the states listed as finalists by the Secretary of Education damaged long-standing relationships and enacted reforms over the strenuous objections of teacher unions.”
Yrchik added that perhaps the most important development in Connecticut’s RTTT process was not the final statute, but the degree of cooperation among diverse stakeholders and the ongoing commitment to education reform among them. “More than anything else, the history of education reform shows that successful reform cannot be imposed or legislated. It must be embraced.”