Michigan 21st in 'Race to the Top'

LANSING, Mich. - Michigan lost points in the "Race to the Top" competition when teachers unions declined to sign on, officials who reviewed the applications reported, according to The Detroit News.

The U.S. Department of Education announced Monday that Delaware and Tennessee were the only first-round winners; Michigan placed 21st among 40 applicants.

The reviewers noted that, while most local school boards in Michigan agreed to support the state's education reform plans, the Michigan Education Association and most local teachers unions did not, according to The News.

"Teacher union buy-in is extremely important to the effective implementation of several of the RTTT goals," the reviewer comments said in part, according to The News.

The technical review form also indicates that Michigan lost points in the areas of improving student outcomes, alternative teacher certification and implementing data systems.

Tennessee and Delaware will receive cash awards of $500 million and $100 million, respectively. Approximately $3.4 billion remains in the "Race to the Top" fund, and Michigan officials have said they will apply again in the second round of competition this summer.

The Detroit News, "Michigan 21st in push for Race to the Top aid," March 29, 2010

U.S. Department of Education, "Race to the Top, Technical Review Form - Tier 1, Michigan Application #3600 MI1"

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "Nicely played, MEA! Race to the Top is starting to look like a fiasco," March 9, 2010