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D.C. Applies For 100 Million "Race To The Top" Dollars

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By Kavitha Cardoza

"Race to the Top" is a federal grant competition where states and the District of Columbia can compete for a slice of a $4 million pie for education reform.

The District's application will be submitted January 19th. All D.C. traditional public schools and several charters have jointly applied for $100 million of the funding.

Victor Reinoso, the Deputy Mayor for Education, says if they receive the money a portion of it will be used to collect data on how well students are doing, while some of it will be used to improve schools that are failing. Also, they'll keep track of teacher quality.

"In other words to let universities know how effective their graduates are as teachers. Essentially provide a feedback loop to them so that they can strengthen the performance of their graduates," says Reinoso.

He says the money will help sustain educational efforts in the District.

Maryland and Virginia have also applied for Race to the Top money. While the process is expected to be intensely competitive, some states have decided not to participate, saying they don't want federal "intrusion." The District will find out if they have been awarded the money in April.

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