"RCPS aims for $25M Race to the Top direct grant" (Sept. 12, 2013)
"Rockdale schools not awarded $30M grant"(Dec. 12, 2012)
"RCPS a finalist for $30M grant" (Nov. 27, 2012)
"RCPS applies for $30M grant from Race to the Top" (Nov. 8, 2012)
"It takes a village: RCPS kicks off STARS program" (Dec. 3, 2010)
Rockdale County Public Schools has been named the only finalist in Georgia for the latest round of Race to the Top District grants, which will be awarded in December.
The U.S. Department of Education announced there are 31 finalists, representing 80 school districts across 21 states. They were selected from over 200 applications which demonstrate how districts could personalize education for students and provide school leaders and teachers with key tools that support them in meeting students' needs.
About five to 10 of those districts will be selected to win four-year awards, which will range from $4 million to $30 million, depending on the population of students served through the plan. These grants would go directly to the school districts, not through the state departments of education.
"This year's finalists created innovative plans, to drive education reform and improve student achievement, that serve as an example for the rest of the country," U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. "This competition supports local efforts of diverse, trailblazing districts across the country to implement models of personalized learning so that every child graduates college and career ready. No matter who wins, children across the country will benefit from the clear vision and track records of success demonstrated by these finalists."
"I am thrilled to be selected as a finalist for the second time for this highly competitive grant," said Superintendent Richard Autry. "Our application directly supports our strategic plan and our vision for expanded learning options for students and families, specialized programs of study based on interests and talents, and the use of advanced technology for teaching and learning through individually assigned devices. I am proud of our team who worked diligently to improve our initial application and feel that we have the model and the framework for reinventing public education not only in Rockdale County, but across the country. We are eagerly awaiting the announcement of the grant recipients in December."
RCPS had the highest scoring application in the state for the 2012 RTTT direct grant but missed making the cut. Out of 372 applications and 61 finalists last year, RCPS was 34th overall.