Congratulations to the Commonwealth for being selected as one of only nine states to receive the federal “Race to the Top” grant awarded by the the U.S. Education Department Tuesday (and my condolensces to the 42 states that didn’t).
Even before I set foot on its soil, I’ve had a love for the great Commonwealth of Massachusetts. When choosing a college, I headed to UMAss Amherst almost sight unseen and, when choosing a place to “settle down” after years out west, no other state got my vote but good ‘ol MA (sorry to family and friends in my home state of NJ). This recent grant reaffirms the state’s reputation as a national education leader and, my own decision to live here.
Quoted in the Globe, US Education Secretary Arne Duncan said the Commonwealth’s top score was “well deserved,’’ calling the state’s application the “best in the country by an extraordinary amount.’’
While there has been great debate in the state, as well as across the country, about the best way to bolster the nation’s struggling educational systems, Massachusetts still deserves kudos for working hard to develop a plan that brings together state and local leaders, school districts and educators. Further, this federal recognition automatically propels the reputation of those states selected into that of the elite.