State of Tennessee Press Release; July 28, 2010:
NASHVILLE – Governor Phil Bredesen announced today that Tennessee’s nearly $501 million Race to the Top budget has been approved by the U. S. Department of Education, allowing the state and all 136 school districts to move forward in implementing comprehensive school reform plans over the next four years.
Tennessee was just one of two states selected to receive funding in the federal government’s Race to the Top competition in March.
“I appreciate the Obama administration’s quick approval of our plan, which will allow us to move forward in implementing our reform efforts statewide,” said Bredesen. “Receiving this approval clears the way for local school districts to begin working on the dramatic improvements they have outlined in their individual budget plans.”
Along with approving Tennessee’s overall Race to the Top budget, the U.S. Department of Education also approved each school district’s individual budget plan, or “Scope of Work.” These plans, along with Tennessee’s overall First to the Top plan, is designed to address four key areas of reform.
· Adopting standards and assessments that prepare students to succeed in college and the workplace;
· Building data systems that measure student growth and success, and inform teachers and principals how to improve instruction;
· Recruiting, developing, rewarding, and retaining effective teachers and principals, especially where they are needed most; and
· Turning around their lowest-performing schools.
Tennessee’s complete Race to the Top proposal can be found on the state Department of Education Web site at www.tn.gov/education.