Local districts awarded Race to the Top funds

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OCEAN CITY — The State Department of Education announced last week that 372 school districts and charter schools in the state have signed up to take part in the $38 million federal Race to the Top award.

Half of that money, or approximately $19 million, will be split among participating districts based on their relative share of funding under Title I. The other $19 million will be used by the state to advance the state’s education reform agenda, according to the NJDOE.

New Jersey was awarded the funding in December as part of the US Department of Education's Race to the Top 3 competition. As part of its application, New Jersey selected four objectives:

Development of model curriculum and assessments for all core content subject areas to support the adoption of the Common Core State Standards;

Development and rollout of an online Instructional Improvement System that will serve as a platform for teachers to access the model curriculum and other supports like formative assessments and instructional tools;

Implementation of the state's new teacher evaluation system and the creation of a principal evaluation pilot program; and

Expansion of high-quality school options by strengthening the department's charter authorizing practices.

Ocean City was notified that it received $18,407 according to district Superintendent Kathleen Taylor. The money will be utilized towards teacher and principal evaluations and professional development.

The Upper Township business administrator announced that the Upper Township School District was awarded $6,970, which will also be utilized for the same purpose.

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