The Race to Race to the Top

By Teodora Popescu November 20, 2009

Today in Olympia, Governor Christine Gregoire’s office announced that Washington State will delay entering the Obama Administration's Race to the Top ($4 billion in federal education funding) competition until the second round of funding next year. In a statement, Gregoire said the state needs "to take the time to involve our school districts and make sure we get our application right." Applications for the second round are due June 1, 2010—giving the state just six months to pull its application together.

League of Education Voters spokeswoman Lisa Macfarlane said the decision to delay Washington’s application for the grant would give the state more time to "get its act together." It would also give the state more time to reach out to school districts that need to sign on to whatever proposal Gregoire, state schools superintendent Randy Dorn, and State Board of Education chair Mary Jean Ryan, finalize for the application.

The decision comes a day after Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn proposed delaying the implementation of stricter high school math and science graduation requirements until 2015 and 2017, respectively.

Macfarlane says the League of Education Voters opposes Randy Dorn’s proposal, saying that the delay would not only add to the growing number of community college students taking remedial math, but would also put Washington’s application for the Race to the Top grant in the "loser pile."

“It is the wrong proposal at the wrong time," Macfarlane says.

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