Superintendent Juneau Statement on Announcement of Race to the Top Finalists

Tuesday, July 27, 2010
By Jessica Rhoades

HELENA - Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau today issued the following statement today regarding the announcement by the US Department of Education selecting 19 semifinalists in the Race to the Top grant application. Governor Brian Schweitzer, Superintendent Denise Juneau, and Board of Public Education Chair Patty Myers submitted the state’s Race to the Top application in June.  Montana is not among the finalists.

Juneau said:

“We called our Race to the Top application the Montana Plan for a reason, and although we did not receive this federal grant, our education reform efforts will continue.  We worked hard with the education community, the Governor’s Office, and the Board of Education to put together a plan that fits our frontier state status, respects our constitutional guarantee of local control, and values the collective bargaining practices in our schools.  The difficulty may be that the ideas the U.S. Department of Education have for educational reform may work for urban areas, but are not necessarily the best fit for Montana. 

“The fact that 84% of schools signed on representing 94% of Montana students shows the widespread support for creating a plan that was flexible and innovative, but did not subscribe to every federal mandate – because many of those concepts simply will not work in a frontier state like Montana.”



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