In a statement Tuesday, Governor Bill Ritter's office announced that Colorado will in fact compete in the second round of the federal "Race to the Top" program to fund education reform.
In an interview with the New York Times this weekend, Ritter said the state was considering staying out of the second round after finishing 14th out of 16 applicants in the first round. Ritter told the Times that the scoring during the first round was unfair, comparing it to "the Olympic Games, and we were an American skater with a Soviet judge from the 1980's."
In Tuesday's statement, the Governor said the decision to partake in the second round of applications came after discussing the potential strength of Colorado's application with various stakeholders.
From the Governor's statement:
Over the past week, Gov. Ritter, Lt. Gov. O'Brien and Commissioner Jones have reviewed the feedback and scoring results from the Round 1 application and talked with numerous education stakeholders from around Colorado. The three met this morning and decided it is in the best interest of Colorado students to re-apply for the federal grant funding.
"Colorado has broken new ground with student-centered reforms over the past three years," Gov. Ritter said. "We put together a solid Race to the Top application for Round 1 that would have allowed us to build on and accelerate the reforms that will allow all children in Colorado to reach their God-given potential. Our Round 2 application will make an even stronger case for how we will improve student achievement, turn around struggling schools and improve educator effectiveness."
In order to compete for up to $175 Million available during the second round of race to the top, Colorado will likely have to gain the support of every school district and obtain full union support, two feats that the state was unable to accomplish in the first round.