DC Schools Finish Last in ‘Race to the Top' Finals

In the Race to the Top, the District remains near the bottom.

The District finished last among 16 finalists in the first phase of the “Race to the Top” competition, put on by the U.S. Department of Education. The contest offers billions of dollars in federal money that can be used to reform poor-performing schools. Washington scored 402.2 points out of a possible 500.

Before you get too down on D.C. schools, consider this: The District finished last among the 16 finalists, but 40 states also took part in the competition.

DC Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee called it an honor just to be chosen as a finalist.

“Just advancing this far was an important validation that D.C. is on the right track with education reform,” she said in a statement. “We’re confident about our future prospects and we’re eager to reengage all of our partners as we prepare for Phase 2.”

Virginia participated in Phase 1 of “Race to the Top” but didn’t make the final 16. Maryland decided not to participate in Phase 1 but plans on taking part in Phase 2.

Delaware and Tennessee were the big winners of Phase 1. Delaware won as much as $107 million in federal funds; Tennessee could receive as much as $502 million.

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