Representatives of the 16 states that are finalists in the $4 billion Race to the Top competition faced panels of judges in Washington earlier this month as they made their final, in-person pitches to win one of the coveted grants being funded by the federal economic-stimulus package.
Winners of the competition’s first round were to be announced this week. States applying for round two have until June 1 to prepare their applications.
Jim Rex, the state superintendent in South Carolina, called the 90-minute session with a panel of five judges “comprehensive and rigorous,” with many detailed questions and requests for clarification. Confidentiality agreements kept Mr. Rex from disclosing specific queries the judges made about South Carolina’s application. He said that some of the judges were familiar to him and had “national expertise.”
Other finalists in the competition are Colorado, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Rhode Island.
A version of this article appeared in the March 31, 2010 edition of Education Week as States Make In-Person Pitches for Share of Race to Top Funds