Since we'd been covering predictions as to which states were the front runners in the Obama administration's Race to the Top...
Since we'd been covering predictions as to which states were the front runners in the Obama administration's Race to the Top initiative, we should probably let you in on the states that Education Secretary Arne Duncan named last week as the finalists in the quest to get their hands on some much-needed federal funds.
The list of finalists is: Colorado, Delaware, D.C., Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
While Florida, Louisiana, and Tennessee were veritable no-brainers, as multiple education experts highlighted them as presenting outstanding applications, there are some surprises. We noted the huge push for funds that the state of Michigan undertook, rewriting many of the laws on its books to make itself eligible for the money. The state's governor, Jennifer Granholm, said she was "shocked" that it hadn't made the cut.
Another curve ball is the inclusion on New York on the shortlist for first round money. There was much gnashing of teeth about the state legislature's failure to raise a cap on the number of charter schools, which many experts and observers thought would doom its application. But, perhaps because of the efforts undertaken by New York City schools, the state could end up with as much as $700 million when the winners are announced next month.
Here's Duncan's announcement of the finalists: