Mississippi First has been asked by the Mississippi Department of Education to review Mississippi’s Round II proposal, analyze its strengths and weaknesses, and make recommendations for how the application could be re-written for a possible Round III. We will be undertaking this work in September, so read next month’s Update for our in-depth analysis.
As we reported last month, Congress is working to appropriate new money for a possible Round III of Race to the Top to take place in 2011. Although the pot of funds is likely to be significantly less than the Obama administration has requested–and tremendously less than was appropriated for Rounds I & II–a third round could mean that Mississippi may have one more chance to compete for funds.Now that we know the winners from Round II, we know that competition in any Round III is likely to be stiff: among education pundits, the Round II story has been less about who won and more about who didn’t win–namely, Louisiana and Colorado. Illinois, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina were also finalists twice but not winners. Then there’s New Jersey, which came in 11th, but would have edged out Ohio had it not been for a data error in the state’s application.