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Tony Bennett: Florida Progressing in Race to the Top

The Florida Department of Education and Commissioner of Education Tony Bennett highlighted the states effort to reach the Race to the Top requirements as outlined by the U.S. Department of Education.

Florida has shown great progress in meeting its Race to the Top goals and I applaud the department for the strong leadership they have demonstrated in their thoughtful and pragmatic approach to implementing this grant, Bennett stated in a release.

Our Race to the Top goals are demanding, but provide Floridas students a more rigorous, comprehensive education.

The FDOE added that according to the U.S. Department of Educations performance report, "Race to the Top Annual Performance Report," Florida has:

Implemented Common Core State Standards in kindergarten classrooms.

Held four Common Core Summer Institutes and trained more than 7,500 educators.

Increased enrollment in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) accelerated coursework and STEM career academies over several years.

Increased the total number of registered CAPE (Career and Professional Education) academies by 118 percent since 2009-10, with 87 total registrations for the 2012-13 school year at high schools that are persistently lowest-achieving.

Laid the foundation to develop a single sign-on portal to provide teachers, school and district leaders, researchers, and state college and university administrators with data, information, and resources.

All school districts implemented a revised teacher and principal evaluation system.

Executed Project PRIDE (Planning and Rewarding Instructional Diversity in Education) to recruit minority teachers and enrolled the first group of 45 candidates.

Recruited and trained nearly 300 Teach for America corps members to work in two districts with a high number of schools that are persistently lowest-achieving.

Began training more than 100 aspiring turnaround principals and assistant principals through the Florida Turnaround Leaders Program, and began turnaround leadership training program for 10 rural districts targeting superintendents, school board members, and district staff.

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