Tennessee's entire Congressional delegation has expressed support for the Tennessee Department of Education's application for the Race to the Top Assessment Program.
In a letter to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, the delegation members wrote, "We are writing in strong support of the Tennessee Department of Education's application for the Race to the Top Assessment Program. In utilizing these federal funds, Tennessee seeks to capitalize on its assets - a rich pool of data, a plan for revamped standards and assessments, increasing collaboration with high-tech firms and facilities, and an expanded charter school system. Tennessee's RTTT proposal builds upon these assets and will accelerate reforms necessary to support educational achievement and excellence."
Tennessee will now compete with 40 other states and the District of Columbia for a share of more than $4 billion in federal grants in a nation-wide effort to encourage innovative and ambitious education reforms.
The Department of Education will review each application and award grants based on each state's ability to adopt challenging standards that prepare students for college and their careers, adequately measure student achievement and inform faculty of the best way to improve teaching methods, recruit and retain the best teachers, and turn around the lowest performing schools.
The winners of the first phase of Race to the Top grants will be announced in April.