As I write this, Secretaries Duncan and Sebelius are at the White House announcing 9 state winners of the Early Learning Challenge Race to the Top program, which according to press reports include: California, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island and Washington.
While many of the states on this list will not surprise folks who’ve been paying attention here, there are a few shockers--particularly the absence of Illinois, widely regarded as a front runner and in some respects model for the program, and the inclusion of California, whose budget and data-related woes led many to count it out. The list also should clearly underscore that ELC is NOT a pre-k program: Rhode Island, for instance, has only a recently-created pre-k pilot, and Minnesota serves relatively few children in pre-k.
The Education Department has not yet posted the reviewer comments and scores on their website--I’ll have more to say once they’re up.
I’d also just add: The fact that (as I write) the ELC announcement is front and center on the HHS website, and nowhere to be seen on ED’s landing page tells you pretty much 90% of what you need to know about this program.
The opinions expressed in Sara Mead’s Policy Notebook are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.