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Press Release

Friday, February 1, 2013

DOE Press Office
850-245-0413

Florida Makes Solid Progress on Race to the Top

Tallahassee, Fla., February 1, 2013 - Florida has made steady and meaningful progress on meeting the ambitious goals in its Race to the Top application according to the U.S. Department of Education. The year two progress report issued today applauds Florida's work and accomplishments toward meeting grant benchmarks. The report also noted that Florida is on the right track to meeting the bold Race to the Top goals.

"Florida has shown great progress in meeting its Race to the Top goals and I applaud the department for the strong leadership they have demonstrated in their thoughtful and pragmatic approach to implementing this grant," said Commissioner of Education Dr. Tony Bennett. "Our Race to the Top goals are demanding, but provides Florida's students a more rigorous, comprehensive education."

The report highlighted major accomplishments and Florida's integration of Race to the Top into its existing work.

  • Implemented Common Core State Standards in kindergarten classrooms.
  • Held four Common Core Summer Institutes and trained more than 7,500 educators.
  • Increased enrollment in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) accelerated coursework and STEM career academies over several years.
  • Increased the total number of registered CAPE (Career and Professional Education) academies by 118 percent since 2009-10, with 87 total registrations for the 2012-13 school year at high schools that are persistently lowest-achieving.
  • Laid the foundation to develop a single sign-on portal to provide teachers, school and district leaders, researchers, and state college and university administrators with data, information, and resources.
  • All school districts implemented a revised teacher and principal evaluation system.
  • Executed Project PRIDE (Planning and Rewarding Instructional Diversity in Education) to recruit minority teachers and enrolled the first group of 45 candidates.
  • Recruited and trained nearly 300 Teach for America corps members to work in two districts with a high number of schools that are persistently lowest-achieving.
  • Began training more than 100 aspiring turnaround principals and assistant principals through the Florida Turnaround Leaders Program, and began turnaround leadership training program for 10 rural districts targeting superintendents, school board members, and district staff.

Looking ahead to Year 3, Florida will build on work done in previous years and continue to develop and implement projects across all grant reform areas.

To read the U.S. Department of Education's performance report, visit Race to the Top Annual Performance Report. To see Florida's second year progress report, visit Race to the Top (PDF, 2MB).