S. Dakota education loses shot at
State still might apply for
another round of grants
Condensed by Native
South Dakota is not among the first
16 finalists for Race to the Top, a
$4,350,000 billion education reform
competition. State officials
will read the reviewers' comments
before deciding to apply for the
second round of funding.
The state asked for $74,000,000 to
fund a year-round residential
charter school for Native American
students. The school would include
grades 9-12 plus two years of
college. It would emphasize science,
technology, engineering and math.
"We really thought if we could bring
it together in the Black Hills of
South Dakota it would be a great
place to provide another option for
young people that wanted to take the
next steps to get into higher
education and continue on," Gov.
Mike Rounds said.
The sixteen finalists will send
representatives to present their
plans in person. Education Secretary
Arne Duncan will pick the winners.
"Given the comments by President
Obama and Secretary Duncan and their
concern for Native American
education ... I'd like to think we
have a good project and a fundable
project," said Dan Guericke from the
Mid-Central Education Cooperative.
Guericke is not surprised that the
state isn't a finalist because:
The state's education
practices don't fit with
The state has no charter
The state lacks data
systems that inform
The state has only limited merit pay.
While the state has 153
school districts, the
only 14 support the
Only two local teachers
unions support the
If South Dakota reapplies, the
charter school will probably remain
the focus of the grant request.
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