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Handicapping New York's RTTT app: Good and medium news

How does New York’s Race to the Top application compare to other states? An analysis of school district and union buy-in to state applications published yesterday by EdWeek gives some clues.

On a piece of the application that is worth 60 out of the total 500 points, New York outperformed the national average – but not staggeringly so.

One of the ways a state can win Race to the Top is by proving that its school districts and teachers union support the reforms the application proposes. States prove this by turning in Memorandums of Understanding signed by each of those groups. The more MOUs a state submits, the more points it gets toward the 60-point categories for buy-in. (You can read the full scoring guidelines for the competition here.)

In New York, all of the state’s 744 school district superintendents agreed to participate in New York’s plan if the state wins grant money. That’s a lot more than the average of 61 percent of school districts that signed onto their states’ plans nationally, according to the EdWeek analysis.

But the state only barely beat the national average in terms of teachers union buy-in. Just over 70 percent of the state’s local teachers unions agreed to participate in the plan, a ten percentage point increase from the number that signed on in the first round of the grant competition. That’s a bit more than the national average of 68 percent of local teachers union heads who added their signatures to their states’ proposals, according to the EdWeek analysis.

You can read more about the Race to the Top competition here, and New York’s second-round application, including a detailed list of which districts and unions signed onto the plans, is available here.

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