Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas comes early for Arizona's schools

Arizona Awarded $25 million Race to the Top Grant for Education
Federal Grant to Advance STEM Education, Implement New Education Standards and Improve State Data System
PHOENIX – Today, Governor Jan Brewer and Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal announced that Arizona has been awarded $25 million in Round Three of the U.S. Department of Education’s Race to the Top grants.
            “A top-flight education system is critical to a working economy,” said Governor Jan Brewer. “This funding will play an important role as Arizona sets higher standards for its students and teachers, and strives to provide the information that parents need in order to make informed decisions about their children’s education.”
            The Race to the Top funding will aid the implementation of new, more stringent state education standards, as well as the training of teachers to meet these standards.  As outlined in the grant submitted to the U.S. Department of Education, Arizona will also use the award money to continue work on a data system with which parents, teachers and administrators can more effectively monitor student and school performance.  Half of the grant funding will go directly to local school districts and charter schools to help support their work on these projects.

A portion of the Race to the Top dollars also will be devoted to the advancement of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) education, which is considered key to Arizona’s future, high-skill economy.
“I am extremely pleased and encouraged by Arizona being awarded this money to further our state’s educational goals of creating highly-effective classroom learning environments for our students,” exclaimed Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal. “We are excited to have been provided additional funds that will benefit our schools all across the state and improve our capabilities to prepare students to become college and career ready by the time they graduate.”
In addition to setting a higher bar for student achievement, the state has established aggressive new education goals in areas like 3rd-grade literacy, high school graduation rates and baccalaureate-degree output by Arizona’s institutions of higher education. These goals are part of the state’s new Arizona Ready education reform plan. Parents saw the first aspects of Arizona Ready this fall with the issuance of letter grades to rate the quality of K-12 schools.
By 2014/15, all Arizona students between the 3rd and 11th grades will take a diagnostic test to determine if they’re on track for college and a career. Armed with these results, parents and teachers will be able to more effectively address a student’s education gaps before they fall behind.
For more information, visit

No comments:

Post a Comment