Obama Launches $400M Contest Amongst Schools to Improve Education
Seeks to spur a bold rethinking of the American classroom
The Obama administration is offering $400 million to be divvied up amongst local schools with hopes they'll use it to devise new ways of reaching children, especially students from poor and rural families, according to Reuters.
To win a share of the money, the contest rules state that districts must come up with a way to personalize education, so that each child can advance at his own pace and explore his own interests.
Rules also state that the student cannot advance until they've truly mastered a skill -- not when they have completed a packet of worksheets or listened to a semester of lectures.
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The goal is to get teachers to move away from the centuries-old "one size fits all" model of standing at the front of a classroom, delivering the same lesson to all students.
The competition is the latest phase in President Obama's Race to the Top initiative.
The contest rules will be open for public comment until June 8, then finalized. Districts will then have until October to submit applications.
The administration plans to announce 15 to 20 winners in December. Each will receive a four-year grant worth $15 million to $25 million, officials said.