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DC, MD Named Winners In Federal 'Race To The Top' School Reform Competition

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D.C. and Maryland are among those selected to receive funding in the second round of the ''Race to the Top'' fedearl school reform grant competition.

Arne Duncan, the U.S. Secretary for Education, says this competition has spurred what he calls a "breathtaking amount of reform" across the country.

Maryland will receive $250 million.

The state legislature passed laws to make half of a teacher's evaluation based on student improvement, and revised curricula to put the state in line with national and international standards.

Duncan says it's the only state that didn't apply during the first round, but won in the second.

"That time they took got them to a very, very good place. So Maryland should feel extraordinarily good about their efforts. Maryland's been one of those states that have helped shape the national conversation around education reform for a while," Duncan says.

Kerri Briggs is the State Superintendent of Education in D.C. and says the city will use the $75 million to improve struggling schools, implement new standards and strengthen data systems.

She says there will also be a focus on collaboration between traditional and public charter schools, including teacher evaluations and professional development.

"It's really trying to build bridges across sectors and across schools," Briggs says.

Virginia did not apply for the federal funding.

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