Vancouver schools consortium falls short in “Race to Top”

Vancouver Public Schools consortium ranked 19th of 371 applicants

By Susan Parrish, Columbian education reporter

Published:

Updated: December 11, 2012, 6:05 PM

 

No Vancouver schools were on the list Tuesday when the U.S. Department of Education announced the winners of the federal Race to the Top District grant.

Vancouver Public Schools, as the lead district in a consortium, had been named a finalist in the previous round of the grant process

The Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools consortium, comprised of districts from several states, had submitted a 1,500-page grant application for creating personalized learning environments.

The consortium’s application “was ranked 19th out of 371 applicants,” said Steven Webb, Vancouver superintendent. “The U.S. Department of Education made 16 awards. Our application missed the award cutoff by 1.33 points.”

A $40 million grant was won by seven King County school districts — the Auburn, Federal Way, Highline, Kent, Renton, Seattle and Tukwila school districts — who competed together as The Road Map District Consortium. The districts, covering 261 schools and 150,000 students, will use the money to support students in many areas, including funds to improve math, science and English Language Learner teaching and leadership approaches.