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October 21 04:03
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N. C. loses out on Race to the Top funds


NC ranked 15 out of 17 with a score of 407 compared to top rated Tenn's 443


March 29, 2010
Parents for Educational Freedom in NC released the following press release Monday morning:
North Carolina learned Monday that it failed to qualify for millions of dollars in the first phase of federal "Race to the Top" funding. The state was selected earlier this month as one of 16 finalists for approximately $400 million in federal money after submitting its application in January.

Only two states, Delaware and Tennessee, will be awarded first round funding. The administration is expected to make a formal announcement at a press conference scheduled for 1:30 p.m. this afternoon.

Applications were scored on a 500 point scale, 40 of which were directly tied to "successful conditions for charter schools." The Obama administration repeatedly emphasized that charter restrictions, such as caps, would cost states points.

North Carolina law currently allows for an arbitrary, statewide cap of 100 public charter schools. A House bill was approved during the last legislative session that would have raised the charter cap from 100 to 106, but the bill stalled in the state Senate.

"It is clear to us that this administration is taking choice in education seriously," said Darrell Allison, President of Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina. "We missed a big opportunity, but lawmakers have time during the upcoming short session to position North Carolina more competitively before the second round of applications are due."

Allison's group has launched an active statewide campaign to educate policymakers and increase public awareness of charter schools. The group has been organizing tours of public charter schools and running radio advertisements to highlight the need for more competitive, innovative charter laws.

In addition to rewarding states that support public charter schools, the Race to the Top program encourages reform in four areas: college preparedness, student growth and success measurements, teacher/administrator effectiveness, and improving low-performing schools. Applications for the second phase of funding are due June 1, 2010.

About PEFNC:

Founded on July 5, 2005, Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina (PEFNC), a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to finding ways to effectively better an educational system for all children in North Carolina. PEFNC supports all programs that provide parents and children with greater educational options and builds awareness of the need for even more educational options in North Carolina, including an option not currently available to families in our state: the opportunity for families to educate their child privately and/or non-traditionally through a tax credit or equal opportunity scholarship programs. For more information, please visit www.pefnc.org
Click here to read the U. S. Department of Education's press release.

Click here to review the summary scores. You will find on the Summary rating that of the 17 Finalists, North Carolina's application was rated the 15th highest. Only the District of Columbia and Massachusetts ranked lower than did N. C.

Click here to review the assessors' scoring of North Carolina's application. Note on page 23 (F-2) that the state lost 27 points on the section dealing with charter schools. Had that not been true, N. C. would have been within the range that allowed Delaware to win. The state's proposal also garnered only 35 of a possible 47 points in "C. Data systems to support instruction." In contrast they scored 70 out of 70 on Standards and Assessments.

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