SACRAMENTO — State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell today issued the following statement after learning California was not selected as a winner for Phase 2 funding of the federal Race to the Top (RTT) competition.
"I am deeply disappointed that our application was not chosen as a winner in the Race to the Top competition. However, the loss of the funding may slow, but not defeat, our efforts to improve student achievement in California," O'Connell said. "We remain fully committed to continue seeking the strategies and resources demanded to accelerate our efforts to close the achievement gap among different groups of students by creating fundamental and far-reaching reforms.
"Our application focused on the necessary elements to help us meet the needs of our lowest-performing students and help us raise the ceiling for students who are already performing at high levels. These elements included rigorous, internationally benchmarked standards, effective use of data, more emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and the most important ingredient of all—effective and accountable teachers and principals. These are the fundamentals that will improve achievement in the short run and for the long term so that we can create a statewide system of excellence in our public schools.