^
Keep Westword Free
4

Race to the Top, round two: Colorado loses again

Always a bridesmaid, never a bride: Colorado will not receive any money in round two of Race to the Top, President Obama's federal education-reform grant contest. Though Colorado was one of nineteen finalists, several news sources are reporting that a U.S. Department of Education spokesman says Colorado is not a winner.

Instead, spokesman Justin Hamilton says the victors are Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Rhode Island. Those states, plus Washington, D.C., will share $3.4 billion in grant money. Colorado had applied for $175 million.

The loss comes after Colorado passed a controversial law at least partly aimed at boosting its chances in Race to the Top. Senate Bill 191, the so-called "teacher tenure bill," changes the way the state's teachers receive and keep tenure by basing half of the determination on their students' academic growth. It also makes it easier for teachers to lose that status if they're deemed "ineffective" for two years in a row.

The Colorado Education Association opposed the bill, and many teachers didn't like it. But several superintendents, as well as state Education Commissioner Dwight Jones, favored it -- and even suggested publicly that it would help Colorado win Race to the Top.

So where does the loss leave Colorado? This summer, the state did receive $1 million in grants to boost "educator effectiveness," a key tenet of Race to the Top. But that other $174 million sure would have been helpful.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.