Mass. Makes Final 'Race' Push

Gov. Deval Patrick led a Massachusetts delegation to Washington, D.C., Tuesday as part of the state's pitch for millions of dollars in federal education grant money.

Patrick and four education officials were in the nation's capital to go over the state's "Race to the Top" application with federal education officials. The state is one of 19 finalists in the second round of the competition.

Education Secretary Paul Reville says the federal education judges wanted to know more about the state's plans for tying teacher evaluations to student performance, closing the achievement gap and adopting national education standards.

Reville says the state already leads the way in education.

"And we have the kind of collaborative relationships with the field that have earned us the success to date, and on which we can count the next phase of reform, and that seemed to make an impression on people," he said.

The state adopted new national curriculum standards for math and English last month to boost the chances at getting the money.

Massachusetts could receive as much as $250 million in education reform funding over the next four years.

Before the meetings, Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education Mitchell Chester said he was optimistic that Massachusetts could get the funding.

"We're very much committed to reform and we have been a state that, for the last 17 years, has been committed to aiming for high standards where results count," Chester said.

"We're confident, we know we have a very strong, very competitive proposal, but we also know the competition is steep," he said.

The second round of winners will be announced in September. As many as 15 states could receive some funding.

This program aired on August 10, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.