U.S. Secretary of Education to Visit Schools in Delaware to Celebrate the Four-Year Anniversary of Race to the Top and Highlight the State’s Progress

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U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will travel to Wilmington, Del., on Wednesday to celebrate the four-year anniversary of the Race to the Top (RTT) program and highlight the progress made through the state’s $119 million Race to the Top grant. In the morning, Duncan will join Gov. Jack Markell and Delaware Education Secretary Mark Murphy for a visit to EastSide Charter School, where they will tour a classroom and engage with school leaders and members of the Delaware Talent Cooperative.

Later, Secretary Duncan will visit Mount Pleasant High School for a student roundtable to discuss college access and a town hall to highlight Delaware’s progress in preparing all students to be successful in college and in their careers. Duncan will be joined by Gov. Markell, Delaware Education Secretary Mark Murphy and State Board President Teri Quinn Grey.

The Race to the Top program, which made its first awards in 2010, has provided 18 states and D.C. with about $4.2 billion through three phases of the flagship competition and more than $1 billion to support 20 states during the three rounds of the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge. In 2012 the Department launched the first Race to the Top-District program, which has now funded 21 applicants—representing 80 school districts across 13 states and D.C.—with more than $500 million to support locally developed plans that will prepare every student to succeed in college and careers. The Department's fiscal year 2015 budget request includes $300 million for a new Race to the Top-Equity and Opportunity (RTT-Opportunity) competition to create incentives and provide resources for states and school districts to address persistent opportunity and achievement gaps. RTT-Opportunity builds on previous RTT competitions and reform strategies to close gaps for high-need students.