Governor McDonnell and the VA DOE recently withdrew state schools from consideration for the over $4 billion in federal Race to the Top funds citing concerns about the poor quality of the Common Core Standards states are required to adopt in order to compete for RttT funds. In his letter the US Department of Education Secretary, Arne Duncan, McDonnell stated “I can not support setting aside the proved Virginia Standards of Learning program, nor commit to adopt these common core standards that have not been completed, implemented, or fully evaluated. Virginia’s standards actually exceed those of the common core in most areas, and to be competitive for a RTTT grant under the current rules, we would have to lower our standards. This we cannot do.”
We applaud Governor McDonnell and the VA DOE for refusing to implement lower standards just to qualify for federal RTTT grants.
You can find the letter and other information about Virginia’s application for RTTT funds here.