New York State had spent little more than a third of its federal Race to the Top education funds as of September, but had “accelerated implementation progress” in all areas of its plan to update standards and accountability measures in the state’s public schools, according to the federal Department of Education.
The department on Wednesday released a progress report of New York State’s $696 million Race to the Top plan that found the state is meeting many of the goals set out in its application for federal education grant money, but noted that the state continued to experience delays in launching a new data portal that could be used to monitor student and school progress.
The report also noted that New York State has faced delays developing tests and curriculum materials for sixth- through eighth-grade science, social studies and arts because of the slow pace of state and national decisions on content standards.
The state won the Race to the Top grant money by agreeing to implement new state learning standards, known as the Common Core State Standards, as well as updating state tests, implementing new teacher evaluations and creating a statewide data system for student and school information, among other promises.
The changes have fueled protests across the state from some educators and parents who have criticized the state Department of Education for the way it has rolled out the proposals.
The progress report noted that, as of September 2013, the state had spent about 35 percent of the total Race to the Top grant money.
“New York will need to continue to accelerate project implementation and corresponding spending to stay on track to meet the commitments in its plan,” the report stated.