Houston ISD received discouraging news today as the U.S. Department of Education released its list of Race to the Top finalists and Houston wasn't on it.
"We're disappointed to miss out on this opportunity to win badly needed funding for Houston's classrooms. We knew the competition would be tough as districts around Texas vie for funding to offset some of the $5.4 billion in education cuts imposed by the state Legislature," HISD spokesman Jason Spencer said diplomatically.
Somewhere in HISD's administration building there had to be some heartfelt wailing going on. HISD had, by all accounts, put a lot of effort into making its case.
Making it onto the list means a chance for added funding. Districts selected met the criteria for comprehensive education reform that improves student performance -- particularly in historically low-performing areas -- and inspires teachers to do their best and stay around in that district.
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The Texas districts and school organizations selected were:
Aubrey Independent School District Dallas ISD Galveston ISD Harmony Science Academy (Harmony Public Schools) Idea Public Schools Peak Preparatory - Uplift Education Region 5 Education Service Center
And making it better (worse?) was the news that Secretary of Education Arne Duncan was on his way to Dallas ISD for a personal visit on Tuesday.