Race to the Top Grant: Our Students Lost out in 2012 –Why?

School Board Meeting: June 18, 2013

District Department Heads -School Board Meeting: June 18, 2013

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

   Audio of School Board Meeting

In our June 18, 2013 School Board meeting, department heads were present to share the district’s 2012-13 Accomplishments. One item in particular caught my attention was RACE TO THE TOP grant.


About 20 minutes into the meeting I asked why it was listed as an accomplishment if we were not awarded the grant.

The attached audio is the portion of the meeting where Christine Marriott with the Assessment Department gives a response along with other board members chiming in.

Why was the Salt Lake City School District Not Selected?
It is evident from the audio that the current culture of the District is to reward INPUT and PROCESS instead of outcomes and results. It is also standard operating procedure to never take responsibility for something that went wrong and was poorly done because the problem is always: OUT THERE

True to form, the Superintendent’s explanation:

“…we lost points because community data was missing not district data”

My reading of the evaluators comments that scored the district’s grant application tells a different story. Here are a few examples of the typical language that is peppered throughout the evaluation i.e. . . . .

  • …district has not provided critical information…
  • …district has demonstrated partial evidence… 
  • …district did not provide information…
  • …district does not provide evidence…
  • ..district does not provide rationale…


PDF Link to Entire Evaluation Document

Race to the Top, is a $4.35 billion United States Department of Education contest created to spur innovation and reforms in state and local district K-12 education.

It is funded by the ED Recovery Act as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and was announced by President Barack Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on July 24, 2009.

States were awarded points for satisfying certain educational policies, such as performance-based standards (often referred to as an Annual professional performance review) for teachers and principals, complying with Common Core standards, lifting caps on charter schools, turning around the lowest-performing schools, and building data systems.


Comments are closed.